The last few weeks have been very busy in Olympia with meetings and committee hearings. I am spending much of my time working on legislation to address our state’s crisis of homelessness—more on that in my latest video update. I am also working on bills to provide regulatory relief for farmers (inspired by farmers in the Puyallup Valley), promote job opportunities for teenagers (inspired by a local coffee shop business), legalize spring blade knives (inspired by a South Hill-based knife manufacturer), grow the data center industry in Western Washington, and protect our elections process.
Keeping our elections secure
Election security is vital to our democratic process. While Washington is a national leader in election security, there are additional steps we need to take to protect democracy in our state. Lawmakers in Olympia must make election security a priority this session. That’s why I’m sponsoring Senate Bill 6412, an Office of Secretary of State-request bill, which would promote election security. Here is how this bill would cut down on election fraud:
- Invest $1.8 million in election security to draw $8.6 million in federal matching funds, helping state and local election officials to administer secure elections, which would keep up with changing technology and cyber-threat tactics.
- Prevent ballot tampering by defining a clear chain of custody for ballots and making knowing destruction or failure to deliver a voted ballot a class C felony.
- Limit entry points to election systems by removing electronic methods of ballot return for military and overseas voters, given the threat to voter confidentiality and exposure to cybercrime using email, fax and other electronic ballot return methods.
- Provide post-election security by removing low value-added machine recounts and replacing them with statistically significant audits.