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Restore Democracy

This page includes articles on progressive solutions for getting money out of elections and insuring democracy for all. 
[Yes on 735 sent the following message on Nov. 15, 2016]

While many of us are still taking in the election results, one thing is clear – when we make it harder to vote, fewer citizens participate. And that’s bad for Democracy. 

The vote in Wisconsin was decided by 28,000 votes. But 300,000 legal citizens in Wisconsin couldn’t vote because of new & restrictive voter I.D. laws. With more restrictions in place to make voting harder, it’s no surprise that fewer Americans ended up voting in 2016. 

Our partners at Friends of the Earth are working to change that—but they need your help here in Washington! 

Let’s make voting easy by default. Tell Washington’s Secretary of State: it’s time for Automatic Voting Registration. 

Now is the time for MORE Americans to get involved in the political process, not less. With all our technology, it should be EASIER to register to vote, not harder. Americans shouldn’t have to jump through bureaucratic hoops to realize their core right to vote

An easy solution we can enact TODAY is passing Automatic Voter Registration (AVR) at the State level. Right now, 5 states have such systems in place. Not surprisingly, those states also enjoyed higher voter turn out this election. 

Tell your Secretary of State: Voting should be default YES, enact Automatic Voter Registration! 

Statewide AVR has the power to make two transformative changes - Eligible voters will be automatically registered to vote when they interact with government agencies, and voter-registration information will be electronically updated across agencies automatically. Seamless and easy. 

These changes save money, take out the hassle for voters,  and are less error-prone than our current paper based systems. AVR can boost registration rates – adding up to 50 million eligible voters to the rolls, while cleaning up outdated voter rolls, saving money, and even reducing the potential for voter fraud.

Tell your Secretary of State: We want Automatic Voter Registration 

For years, climate deniers in Congress have been working to discourage the vote so that every-day Americans like you and me have less of a say in our political system. We are now dealing with the consequences of the first presidential election in over 50 years that did not have strong protections for voting rights.  

When the concerns of entire groups– including young voters, people of color, and older Americans - are actively blocked from the ballot, its no surprise that the environment isn’t at the top of our elected officials’ priority lists. 

Rebuilding our democracy is our priority. Let’s do the simple thing and register all eligible voters automatically today.
[Yes on 735 sent the following message on November 9, 2016]

We did it! According to current vote tabulations, 735 passed with 64% percent of the vote! (Although that may change slightly, as officials are still counting ballots. Election results are certified by each county on November 29.)

After a two-year campaign for 735, that means Washington joins Oregon, Montana, and 15 other states calling on Congress to pass a 28th constitutional amendment that would overturn Citizens United and solidify that spending money is not a form of protected speech. But we also went a bit further than other states. Washington voters said they also want the amendment to say that constitutional rights are meant for people, not corporations!

"I am beyond proud to be a part of this citizens’ initiative," says Campaign Chair Linda Brewster. "I'm proud to be a part of the faithful supporters who contributed mostly small contributions to keep our campaign afloat this year. Our truly 'small potatoes' grassroots effort often ran on fumes mixed with determination. And so I am humbled too, with great admiration for all those who stepped up to move this democracy movement forward."

Here's some fun campaign statistics:

  • Over 333,000 signatures collected, with over 293,000 gathered by 1,714 volunteers!
  • More than 5,200 donations received totaling just over $700,000!
  • 27,199 calls made by 102 phone bankers!
  • Over 10,000 doors knocked on!
  • 2,000 yard signs distributed and put out by more than 50 volunteers!
  • 8 newspaper endorsements and 28 letters to the editor since August!
  • More than 387,000 Facebook video views!
  • Over 100 freeway bannering and sign waving events across the state!
  • Campaign Director Cindy and her daughter catered events for more than 800 people!
  • Field Director Tiffani drank 94 gallons of coffee!
  • Communications Director Matthew ate 174 pieces of pizza!
  • Organizer Georgia spent 65 hours on the light rail!

There is still work to be done. Other states are starting their own push to become the 19th state to call for overturning Citizens United. And in Washington, WAmend and Fix Democracy First will be working on and planning more ballot initiatives and actions to further democracy.

We also want to give a BIG shout out to our sister initiative in California, Prop 59, which also calls for a 28th constitutional amendment, passed with 52% approval!

There is lots of work ahead, but for now, let's take a big deep breath and pat ourselves on the back, Initiative 735 passed!

YES I-735