Bill Would Require Election Date on Ballot Envelopes

In Olympia Monday, lawmakers in the House OK’d legislation that would print election dates on the outside of ballot envelopes. Dan Frizzell from the House Democratic Caucus has that story.

It’s something countless voters have puzzled about: ‘If I need to mail this ballot in by a certain date, what IS the date? And why isn’t that printed on the envelope?’ If the state Senate acts on Representative Melanie Morgan’s House Bill 1520, the election date will be printed, in bold type and 20-point font, on the outside of the envelope that voters receive from their county auditors. Morgan, a Democrat from Parkland in Pierce County, says making that date obvious will increase participation by registered voters.

MORGAN: “This is one way that we can invite voters to participate in the voting process. The ballot return date is simple, yet meaningful. This type of support makes better access to democracy; a small change, but with a big difference.”

The bill as it now stands would phase in the new envelopes, beginning with this year’s presidential primary and general election, and by 2022 every election, from school bond issues to national offices, would be included.  After a unanimous OK in the House, the bill now sits in the Senate for consideration. Reporting from Olympia, I’m Dan Frizzell.