At last week’s hearing, Committee on House Administration Republicans highlighted Democrats’ disinformation about voter ID laws being used to suppress voter participation.
The State of Washington, which is an all vote-by-mail state, requires voter ID, but it’s not to restrict access. Washington’s Secretary of State, Kim Wyman, walks us through the process and why it’s a critical security measure in their state.
Steil: The state of Washington that you oversee, can you walk us through again a couple of these election integrity measures that you put in place in your state? And in particular, how you utilize voter I.D. in the state of Washington to make sure that it’s both easy to vote, but also hard to cheat.
Wyman: Absolutely. Washington state has had voter ID since 2006, and we required at the time of voter registration, they have to provide a Washington State ID card or Washington state driver’s license or the last four of their Social Security number. These are verified and the vast majority of our applicants provide one of those three. We also have an alternate ID. This is one of the key elements of vote by mail elections, which we conduct in Washington State because we can have a high confidence level that the people that are registered are actual people that have walked into a government agency and proven who they are. And it’s separate from voter registration. We also have a statewide voter registration system and election management system that connects our 39 counties in real-time. So on Election Day, they have real-time up to the minute information. For anyone who walks into a voting center, they can issue a. Issue a ballot, and if one has already been issued, they can cancel that first one and issue a new one or register the person for the first time. And this is really how we have confidence that we’re only counting one ballot no matter how many we’ve issued to a voter. And finally, we’re part of the ERIC project. The nationwide thirty-one states, I believe, are members right now. And we are able to keep our rolls maintained and also identify potential voters when they move into our respective states and reach out to them and show them how to register and vote is where every state is very different.
Ranking Member Davis points out that even though the State of Washington has a voter ID requirement that it is not trying to restrict the right of lawful citizens from voting.
Davis: Can I get a couple of questions? First, before I, I do want to ask you about your mail-in balloting processes, but can you be sure you would agree with me that everyone’s goal in any election is to ensure every eligible voter is able to cast a ballot.
Davis: I mean, they are voting their vote for good democracy. And you’re not in the business as a secretary of state of preventing lawful voters from voting for you?
Davis: How about your county auditors, are they?
Davis: Thanks and in Washington state you and your team worked hard to implement this vote by mail system? You’ve been able to do that because Washington State gets to decide what works best for Washingtonians, right?
Washington’s Secretary of State reiterates that time, money, and security measures are critical to a state’s successful vote-by-mail program.
Wyman: It does because we have engaged our electorate and we have built-in security measures that really counterclaims of voter fraud so our citizens can have confidence that our results are valid. And you would agree that it could be replicated in other states if you build on that confidence, if you take the security measures seriously and if you work to educate the public. Absolutely. And I think the big caveat is it takes time and money.
Subcommittee on Elections Ranking Member Bryan Steil (R-Wis.) points out that H.R. 1 would override states, like Wisconsin, that have voter ID requirements.
Steil: What are some of the problems with H.R. 1? It got voter ID protections, for example, in Wisconsin state with a strong voter ID law. This would this bill would allow an individual to vote simply by signing a sworn statement. That’s it.
It legalizes ballot harvesting at the national level and allows federal funding of congressional campaigns, gives government money to fund politicians re-election efforts, fund negative TV ads.
And as we recall, the 800-page bill was rushed through Congress with no consideration of how will it be implemented at the state and local level. As we know here, each state has different election laws because each state is different.
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