When it comes to voting in an election at least half the people in the state of Washington ignore the ballot. Voter turnout ranges from a low of 25% in Eastern and Central Washington to a high of 51% in King County in western Washington. Auditors around the state have looked for ways to increase voter involvement but many remain frustrated because voter turnout remains low.


Now there's a new effort in Olympia that may or may not lead to larger voter turnouts. Under a bill now progressing through the Washington State Legislature you would be required to vote in every major election in Washington State.
The measure cleared the Senate State Government and Elections Committee and could be headed to the Senate floor for a vote.
Jeff Wilson, the Ranking Republican on the committee says he’s stunned to see the Democrat-backed legislation move forward.
The bill requires all Washington voters to cast ballots in every primary and general election. There's no word on what would happen to a person if they didn't vote in an election under the bill.


Wilson says the freedom of speech includes the right not to speak.
While the measure doesn’t currently have a penalty for not voting, Wilson says the legislature could add one in the future.
What do you think? Do you vote in every election?
Do you think this bill is the answer to getting more people involved in statewide and national elections? Yakima County Auditor Charles Ross says he doesn't think it will motivate anyone to participate. He says he can't imagine the legislature would support a bill that would force people to vote.

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