Voting Rights

Voting is a right and responsibility

Voting is the right and responsibility of every citizen in America, and our vote is one of the strongest ways that we can make our voice heard.

OneAmerica advocates for election reforms that empower marginalized communities, like pre-registration for eligible teen agers prior to turning 18, for election-day voter registration, for increasing language access for immigrant and refugee voters, and for strategies to ensure that everyone is counted in the 2020 census and for state redistricting processes that empower people of color voters.  With the Voting Justice Coalition, we are also advocating for accurate and effective Automatic Voter Registration policies.

The Washington Voting Rights Act

Every voter should feel that they have a stake in our democracy.  After years of work, in 2018 the Washington legislature enacted the Washington Voting Rights Act responding to OneAmerica members and supporters from across the State who traveled to Olympia to demand its passage.  The WVRA empowers communities to reform local election systems, shifting at-large elections to districted elections that create opportunities for candidates from these communities to run for office.

Under the federal Voting Rights Act, Yakima residents, regardless of party or status, got involved and stood up to combat racially polarized voting in that city. A federal court forced the City to shift from an at-large election system to one based in districts.  Prior to the lawsuit, Yakima voters had never elected a Latina or Latino representative to city council, despite Latinx making up more than 40% of the city. Here’s what happened when the city shifted to the new election system: three Latinas were elected for the first time ever carried forward by record voter turnout.

If you’re interested in getting involved with our work on voting justice, please contact Samarra Parra at samara@weareoneamerica.org. And check out this handy guide below on how to register!

Who Can Vote?

In order to vote, you must be a citizen of the U.S., 18 years of age or older, a resident of Washington State and a registered voter.

How do I register to vote?

If you have not yet registered to vote, you can register to vote online or the Washington Secretary of State’s website for more options including by-mail and in-person.

How do I cast my vote?

You can vote by mailing in your voting ballot by Election Day, or placing it in a drop box  by election day.

Be sure to read the instructions so you can fill out your ballot correctly. You can mail your ballot any time before the election or drop it off at the polls on Election Day. If you lose your ballot or don’t receive it, you can still vote by contacting your local county elections department and asking for a provisional ballot.