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November 23, 2005

Senators Take on Voter Intimidation

State Senators Jeanne Kohl-Welles of Seattle and Karen Keiser of Des Moines, both Democrats, will be introducing legislation to regulate voter challenges and impose fines for unsubstantiated charges. The legislation is in response to the ridiculous challenges made by the King County GOP vice chairman, Lori Sotelo. From a press release sent out by Kohl-Welles:

“It’s just bad public policy to allow the sending of material that calls into question the legitimacy of someone’s vote two weeks before an election, let alone a few days before,” Kohl-Welles said. “If there are problems, they should be addressed in a manner that doesn’t intimidate or impede a registered voter from voting.”

Kohl-Welles said the bill would set a deadline for challenges before absentee ballots are mailed out. Any voter registered 60 days prior to an election would have to be challenged at least 45 days before the election. Any voter registered for less than 60 days, or who moved less than 60 days prior to an election, could be challenged up to 10 days before the election. This would give enough time for legitimate challenges to be made while also allowing voters who have made errors time to update their registrations. Challenges could also be lodged immediately following the election.

"Those who have filed challenges that are not upheld should face possible sanction because challenging a citizen's right to vote is not a frivolous act,” said Keiser.

Hurrah for common sense. 

Posted by Lynn Allen on November 23, 2005 at 12:28 AM in Inside Baseball | Permalink

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Comments

Great to hear! Hopefully this will mean that someone like me will never have to document these hearings ever again!

I've been posting news from the challenge hearings over at Washblog, if you're interested.

http://washblog.typepad.com/main/2005/11/highlights_of_t.html

Posted by: Anonym | Nov 23, 2005 3:13:00 PM

Thanks Anonym for documenting those sessions. And, with luck, you can go on to other things. I have the feeling that there will be a lot to document over these next few years.

Posted by: Lynn | Nov 23, 2005 10:13:52 PM

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