YAKIMA, Wash. - The League of Women Voters of Washington
kicks into high gear with volunteers and sign-up events on Tuesday, National Voter Registration Day
, in at least eight counties.
In Yakima, it'll be "sign up here, then have a beer," as the Yakima County League sets up a registration table just outside of Jackson's Sports Bar. Volunteer Karen Pilon, voter services chair, says the message is that voting is not only important, it can also be fun.
"It's going to be aimed at the younger crowd. We're going to have a table with signs, maybe some decorations, and just try to make it kind of a friendly group."
Pilon says voter registration isn't difficult, but first-timers often appreciate the help. For those in the Yakima area, the registration table will be at Jackson's from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Leagues from Spokane to Richland to Port Orchard are also planning registration events. And when requested, a local League will send out volunteers to schools or businesses to register voters.
The Thurston County League of Women Voters spent time at fairs and other outdoor events this summer, registering 120 new voters. Just as important, says volunteer outreach coordinator Dawn Brooks-Gibbs, is the number of people they remind to update their address so they'll receive the correct voting information and ballot by mail.
"People don't think about the address change as much. They say, 'I'm a registered voter already,' so they don't think about it until they see a sign and say, 'Oh yeah! I didn't change my address three months ago,' and then they stop in. It's being in the right place at the right time, as well."
The League also hosts candidate forums across the state. It says compared to other states that are fighting about controversial new voter ID laws, Washington's Secretary of State and county auditors have made it easier to help eligible voters get registered.