Valdez and Farivar team up to improve voter turnout

SEATTLE — Senator Javier Valdez (D-Seattle) and Representative Darya Farivar (D-Seattle) express concern and disappointment over low voter turnout for the 2023 general election.

“Though there are still ballots to count, it is clear the voter turnout for 2023 is abysmally low. Hovering around 30%, 2023 may have some of the worst turnout totals in the history of Washington’s odd-year elections.”

“We have a serious voter turnout problem, and it’s not getting any better. It’s time we allow local jurisdictions to make the choice of moving to even year elections, where there is routinely higher voter turnout.”

“Our state has not experienced over 50% turnout in odd-year elections in over a decade. The last five years have all fallen within the 10 worst performances our state has ever seen.”

“We need to do more. That is why the chambers are joining forces to pass Senate Bill 5723 and introduce a companion bill in the House.  It is time that we give cities and counties the freedom to hold elections in even years – on the same ballot as our state and federal races. Voters are telling us with their actions that they prefer voting in even-year elections, and we need to listen to them. The more voices that are heard in elections, the stronger democracy we will have.”