Pearson pushes for ballot drop-boxes to avoid ‘poll tax’ of mail-in voting

On Friday, the Senate State Government Committee passed a measure by Sen. Kirk Pearson, R-Monroe, to require more ballot drop-boxes so voters will not be forced to mail their ballots in.

“It’s only reasonable to me that if the state is going to force people to vote by mail, they should at least provide the option to turn in ballots without having to pay postage,” said Pearson. “We should be working to make it easier for the citizens of Washington State to vote, not harder.”

Pearson’s bill, Senate Bill 5472, would require a ballot drop-box wherever there is a city, town or census-designated location with a post office. It also mandates that county auditors establish one ballot box for every 15,000 registered voters in each county.

“Requiring citizens to pay postage so their ballot can be counted amounts to a poll tax, which is burdensome, unfair and perhaps even unconstitutional,” said Pearson.

Certain ballots in recent years have required multiple stamps to be appropriately mailed in. Small towns and rural areas are generally provided fewer ballot box options.