LEGISLATIVE NEWS: House Passes HB 1932 Promoting Local Democracy

OLYMPIA – Today, the House passed House Bill 1932, introduced by Representative Mia Gregerson (D-SeaTac). The legislation aims to bolster local democracy, enhance voter turnout, and foster equitable representation across communities by granting jurisdictions the option to conduct elections in even-numbered years instead of odd-numbered years.

Recognizing the diverse needs and preferences of local communities, cities and towns that elect to switch to even-numbered year elections have two pathways for implementation: through the legislative body or via a democratic process where voters can approve relevant ordinances or charter amendments. This ensures active community participation in shaping electoral practices.

Local jurisdictions that elect to switch to even-numbered year elections would need to provide a transparent process, requiring two public hearings with a 30-day gap before adoption. By encouraging community feedback and transparency, the bill ensures that decisions align with the collective will of residents.

Acknowledging the need for a seamless transition, the bill reduces the term lengths of officers elected in the next odd-year election if a jurisdiction opts for even-year elections. This pragmatic approach minimizes disruptions and ensures continuity in the electoral cycle.

HB 1932 emphasizes stability and consistency in the electoral process. Additionally, the bill establishes a clear deadline for adoption, enhancing predictability and accountability.

By synchronizing elections with even-numbered years, the legislation aims to bolster voter turnout and amplify diverse voices within communities. “This is about addressing disparities in participation,” shared Rep. Gregerson. “It’s about ensuring that elections reflect the broader population and foster inclusive governance.”

The passage of HB 1932 underscores Washington’s dedication to equitable governance and participatory democracy. Consolidating local elections with even-numbered years boosts voter turnout and widens participation, leading to local governments that better mirror their communities’ voices and priorities. As the state continues to progress, this legislation marks a significant stride toward realizing the values of community empowerment.

Following today’s vote, HB 1932 advances to the Senate for further consideration. Learn more here or by clicking on the image below.