Skip to main content

Council President Sara Nelson Opposes Effort to Increase Voter Turnout

By February 29, 2024News
Greyscale photo of Sara Nelson with scribbly black lines on a red background.


…Rep. Mia Gregerson (D-SeaTac) introduced House Bill 1932 this session to give localities the option to move their municipal elections to even years, a move that she believes, and that research shows, increases voter turnout.

Gregerson has tried and failed to pass the policy several times, but Washington Community Alliance Executive Director Kamau Chege, who advocates for consolidating elections, said that support appears to be growing. He feels confident as the bill advances to its second reading, moving quicker than other legislation this year, that it could land on the Governor’s desk.

Legislators from King County seem especially supportive this year after seeing voters pass a ballot measure to move County elections to even years, Chege said. Seattle Reps. Darya Farivar, Emily Alvarado, Liz Berry, Julia Reed, Nicole Macri, Chipalo Street, plus King County-area Reps. Tina Orwall, Roger Goodman, and Kristine Reeves all cosponsor HB 1932. On the Senate side, Seattle Sens. Javier Valdez, Noel Frame, Bob Hasegawa, Joe Nguyễn, Jamie Pedersen, and King County-area Sens. Patty Kuderer, Manka Dhingra, Karen Keiser, and Derek Stanford all cosponsor its unofficial companion bill, Senate Bill 5723.

Despite huge support from Nelson’s local peers, Alan Durning, the founder of Sightline Institute, said he and other democracy reform advocates are not surprised with Nelson’s comments. After all, she benefited from disenfranchisement.

“When you’re Sara Nelson and you got elected when half the electorate was looking the other way, you might be concerned under a system where more people know you’re on the ballot,” said Chege…

Read full article