Advance Civil Rights.
Promote Racial Equity.
Encourage Successful Re-entry.
It's time to free the vote.
United for Restoration
Equity. Humanity. History.
Accountability. Transparency. Strategy. Community. Empowerment.
The Washington State Voting Rights Restoration Coalition is a community of people and organizations who are seeking justice for our families and neighbors impacted by our legal system. To learn more about our coalition, click here.
What is HB 1078 / SB 5086?
Right now, as many as 26,000 can’t vote even though they are paying taxes, contributing to their communities, and working hard for their families. HB 1078 / SB 5086 will change that by automatically restoring voting rights when a person returns to their community. It will also require corrections staff to provide each person released with written notice of their voting rights and a voter registration form.
Why is HB 1078 / SB 5086 Good Policy?
HB 1078 / SB 5086 is good policy because it will:
Give a second chance to Washingtonians with past convictions. We should welcome people returning to their communities[PB4] , not marginalize them further by denying their voting rights.
Make our communities safer. Research shows that civic engagement increases the chances of a successful transition from the criminal legal system to society. When people have a stake in their communities, they are less likely to be re-arrested and returned to the system.
Advance civil rights and strengthen our democracy. Eliminating legal barriers to voting for returning citizens helps to address the racial inequities created by historic felony disenfranchisement laws and builds a stronger, more vibrant democracy through participation.
Invest in Washingtonians and the communities they return to. There is no penological justification for punishing people after they have been released from prison. We should encourage returning citizens to invest in their communities through voting.
Join the other states that have already successfully expanded their voting rights 20 states and Washington, D.C. already allow everyone who lives in the community to participate in their democracy. Voting Rights Restoration is a bipartisan issue with proven positive outcomes. California’s recent “yes” vote on Prop 17 further demonstrated the overwhelming public desire for voting justice through rights restoration. Washington has been a leader in advancing pro-democracy reforms. It should join California and Oregon by strengthening our democracy through inclusion.
Who supports HB 1078 / SB 5086?
Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence (WSCADV)
"Some claim restoring voting rights is disrespectful or harmful to survivors of crime and their loved ones. But the fact is that most people in Washington’s correctional facilities have faced significant trauma in their lives. The vast majority of incarcerated women and transgender people have been victims of severe domestic violence, sexual violence, and trafficking, often endured over a lifetime. Many incarcerated men also have painful histories of abuse and trauma. People of color and people in poverty are routinely incarcerated for crimes that others are not. All of our communities—especially those harmed by economic hardship and institutionalized racism—deserve accountability, healing, and restoration. Washington can promote these aims with measures, like restoring the right to vote, that aid the successful integration of returning citizens into their communities."
Who are we
The Washington State Voting Rights Restoration Coalition is a community of people and organizations who are seeking justice for our families and neighbors impacted by our criminal justice system. We are a coalition that supports the restoration of voting rights to those formerly incarcerated in order to support their successful reintegration into our community. Our priorities align with our core values and thus we are committed to supporting legislation that aligns with our collective values of humanity, empowerment, racial equity, inclusion, and a free democracy.