SJR 8205 – Presidential voting residency requirements

SJR 8205 – removes Article VI, Section 1A of the Washington Constitution.

This amendment would remove an inoperative provision from the state constitution regarding the length of time a voter must reside in Washington to vote for president and vice-president.

This one is pretty much a no-brainer. But before I explain why, here’s the provision which will be removed if this passes:

SECTION 1A VOTER QUALIFICATIONS FOR PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS. In consideration of those citizens of the United States who become residents of the state of Washington during the year of a presidential election with the intention of making this state their permanent residence, this section is for the purpose of authorizing such persons who can meet all qualifications for voting as set forth in section 1 of this article, except for residence, to vote for presidential electors or for the office of President and Vice-President of the United States, as the case may be, but no other: Provided, That such persons have resided in the state at least sixty days immediately preceding the presidential election concerned.
The legislature shall establish the time, manner and place for such persons to cast such presidential ballots.

Basically the deal is that at the time, the 60 day requirement was much more lenient than the normal residency requirement for voting in Washington. However, the Supreme Court invalidated all laws that establish a residency requirement that’s greater than 30 days for presidential elections. And now we just have a 30 day requirement anyway. So why not clean this provision up?

I’ll be voting for it. Even if it wasn’t inoperative, I’m in favor of making voting easier.

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