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Initiative drives = more voter registrations

by Brian Zylstra | June 16th, 2010


As has been the case in previous years, efforts by various initiative sponsors to gather enough signatures has a side effect – a sharp increase in new voter registrations in Washington.

In the past two months, nearly 10,200 new registrations have come in thanks to initiative drives. In a typical week, our Elections Division receives between 300-400 new registrations, or close to 1,800 a month.

Here is how the initiative drives affect voter registrations: To sign a petition sheet for an initiative or referendum, a person has to be a registered voter in our state. However, some people who want to sign a petition aren’t registered voters. To remedy this situation, a signature gatherer is allowed to provide would-be signers with a registration form, which they fill out then and there. The initiative sponsors then turn in the new registration forms to our Elections Division in Olympia, where they are processed and the registrants are added to our growing active voter registration list.

As of Wednesday, there were about 3,552,000 active registered voters in Washington.

For more elections information, go to our Elections home page.

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