RHAWA is supportive of the rights of all citizens to vote. We encourage Seattle City Council to consider being an equal partner with landlords in this effort by expanding the requirements to provide voter registration information to all citizens in Seattle, and not just those who have the privilege of signing a rental agreement.
While homeowners are more likely to be registered, data also shows that far less than 100% of homeowners are registered. City voter registration outreach, at a starting point, should be enhanced by including this same information with all utility bills, at all city-endorsed events, and included with all city emails.
Council should also consider requiring that voter registration information be included with all residential real estate transactions.
RHAWA’s question is, why is Councilmember Sawant only making an effort at outreach to renters when homeowners also report voting at levels well under 50%, per data referenced in the legislation?
One group of citizens should not be prioritized over another, which is why RHAWA calls on City Council to more thoughtfully enhance its voter registration legislation to include all citizens of our city, and to be a fair and willing partner with landlords by acknowledging that it, too, can play a role in enhancing the functioning of our democracy.
We encourage RHAWA members to reach out to Council on this matter, and to ask them to broaden the scope of its efforts to be inclusive of all Seattleites.