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Report: Washington Not Up to Par on Voter Registration

July 16, 2007

Washington is breaking the law when it comes to registering voters, but it may be doing better than most other states. A new report on how states comply with the National Voter Registration Act shows most states ignore the part of the law that says voter registration has to be offered at pubic assistance offices. Lucy Copass with the League of Women Voters in Washington says the governor just called on agencies to address the issue, but there is a long way to go.

"In terms of public service agency registrations, only about half currently offer voter registrations. So, we've got a challenge before us."

Despite the Voter Registration Act's efforts to close the gap, only 59 percent of the nation's poorest people are registered to vote, compared to 85 percent of the richest.

Copass adds that the state has made major efforts in other areas.

"Washington was actually a leader in voter registration efforts by being one of the first to establish a motor voter law in 1992."

The complete report is at www.eac.gov.

Dondrea Warner/Eric Mack, Public News Service - WA