Washington

Snapshot: Washington has a top score for voting access and good scores for ballot security and how its elected officials responded to claims about the 2020 election.

Ease of Voting

Many measures to expand access
7 out of 7 benchmarks

Ballot Security

Many measures to ensure accuracy and security
7 out of 8 benchmarks

What Politicians Say

Few responses that undermined the 2020 election
4 out of 4 benchmarks

In the most direct response to the Jan. 6 attacks from a state legislature, Democratic Governor Jay Inslee sought to make lying about election results a crime.

The bill would have made it a gross misdemeanor for elected officials and political candidates to lie “knowingly, recklessly, or maliciously” about the results of an election if the false claims led to violence or were made to undermine voter confidence.

The proposal was not just about national politics.

On Jan. 6, Trump supporters in Olympia breached the gates of the governor’s mansion and chanted slogans on the lawn, leading Inslee to leave for a secure area.

His 2020 Republican opponent, Loren Culp, also refused to concede his 13-point loss and filed a lawsuit alleging fraud by the GOP secretary of state. He later withdrew the lawsuit.

Inslee personally testified in support of the bill, which drew national attention, but it died in the state Senate amid concerns about freedom of speech.


Ease of Voting

Is the state making it easy for eligible voters to register and cast a ballot?
Met 0 out of 0 benchmarks
How Washington compares to other states
Washington
Other states
← Easier to vote
Harder →
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
0
Number of total benchmarks met

In 2021, the state made minor changes to a law requiring early voting centers in each county, made it illegal to set up a fake ballot drop box and automatically restored voting rights to ex-felons upon their release from prison.


Ballot Security

Is the state following best practices to ensure ballot counting is accurate and timely?
Met 0 out of 0 benchmarks
How Washington compares to other states
Washington
Other states
← More secure
Less secure →
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
0
Number of total benchmarks met

Lawmakers made only minor changes to the state’s popular all-mail elections, exempting voter signatures and information about election security from public records law.


How Politicians Responded to the 2020 Election

What did the state do in the aftermath of Trump's defeat?
Met 0 out of 0 benchmarks
How Washington compares to other states
Washington
Other states
← Fewer efforts to undermine 2020 election
More →
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
0
Number of total benchmarks met

Two of Washington’s three Republican US representatives signed an amicus brief in support of a Texas lawsuit asking the Supreme Court to intervene in the election.


Read the full methodology
Story by: Ryan Teague Beckwith and Bill Allison
Graphics by: Paul Murray, Allison McCartney and Mira Rojanasakul
With assistance by: Rachael Dottle, Marie Patino, Jenny Zhang, Gregory Korte, Romy Varghese, Vincent Del Giudice, Nathan Crooks, Margaret Newkirk, Shruti Date Singh, David Welch, Elise Young, Dina Bass, Brendan Walsh, Carey Goldberg and Maria Wood
Editors: Wendy Benjaminson, Wes Kosova, Alex Tribou and Yue Qiu
Photo editors: Eugene Reznik, Marisa Gertz and Maria Wood
Photo credits: Getty Images, Bloomberg and AP Photo