Local Politics

Package proposed for citizen check for voter registration

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman is proposing legislation that would require citizenship verification in order to get a state driver's license so that elections officials could ensure early on that non-citizens are not participating in elections.
Wyman announced the proposal Friday in Spokane. The package would also allow for automatic voter registration for people who present citizen verification when they get their license, as is done in Oregon.
Washington state is currently not in compliance with a 2005 federal law -- known as REAL ID -- that requires state driver's licenses and ID cards to have security enhancements and be issued to people who can prove they're legally in the United States. Washington is the only state in the country that does not require proof of legal presence in the U.S. to get a standard state driver's license or ID and there is currently no way for elections officials to verify citizenship.
The next legislative session begins in January.