On Thursday, a public hearing was held on House Bill 2204, which would allow citizens to register to vote until 5 p.m. on election day. Currently, all new voter registrations must be completed eight days prior to election day; this allows the county auditor and staff to correct errors and ensure all registered voters are valid.
The Washington Association of County Auditors representatives noted that in the 2008 presidential election, 84.61 percent of registered voters turned out. We rank No. 1 in the Rock-the-Vote campaign and we were the second state to offer online registration.
The auditors provided other pertinent information. Rep. Hans Dunshee, 44th District representative, decided to berate the auditors by telling them their answer was a “technical, bureaucratic answer.” Later, a county auditor mentioned the extra cost and Rep. Dunshee interrupted her by throwing out the “cost of freedom” comment. Rep. Dunshee walked into the public hearing not ready to listen to the professionals who offered their expert testimony, but instead to insult them. I normally don’t think insults in a letter are constructive, but our representative’s behavior was unprofessional and demonstrated that maybe after 18 years in the Legislature, he has forgotten what his job is.