Senator Steve O'Ban (R-Pierce County) is pushing a bill that if passed would allow voters to say they don't align with any political party in the state of Washington.

It's been a very hot-button issue, people commenting all over social media as well. Voters are 'required' to declare either Republican or Democrat--otherwise their votes are cast aside.   Election officials in Washington state say so far, some 36,000 votes have been disqualified because the citizens refused to select either R or D.

O'Ban says:

“I did not vote for Senate Bill 5273, which requires voters to declare a party. Taxpayers should not be funding a partisan primary process...And every vote matters. The wishes of people who choose not to declare a party affiliation should still be counted.”

According to O' Bans office:

"Senate Bill (SB) 6697 would require county auditors to use an additional envelope for presidential primary ballots to ensure that a voter’s party affiliation is kept private while the ballots are in transit to the voting center, leaving the mailing envelope free of this information. It would also allow voters the option of declaring no party affiliation and requires that those unaffiliated ballots be counted and reported separately.

All ballots would be counted."

   This, says O'Ban and other Republicans and some Democrats who are supporting the bill, would encourage higher voter turnout and participation.

Senator O' Ban office