Governor signs Native American voting bill

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Gov. Jay Inslee has signed a bill expanding voting services on tribal reservations.

The bill, sponsored by Democratic Sen. John McCoy of Tulalip, requires county officials to establish at least one voting drop box on any tribal reservation if requested by the tribe.

Inslee signed the bill Thursday.

Along with drop boxes, the bill allows tribal members to register using non-traditional addresses, including a narrative description of the location of a voter’s residence, and to use tribal identification cards to register to vote.

Advocates have said a lack of traditional street addresses is a common problem on some reservations, and pointed to registration requirements as potential barriers for would-be Native American voters.

Non-traditional addresses were already permitted under state law in certain circumstances; the bill would broadly add voters who live on tribal lands to the list.