City Council decides Seattle landlords must give voter-registration info to new renters

life for dummies

Apparently council members believe residents are too stupid to type “how to register to vote in Seattle” into a browser search. Maybe people who can’t figure out how to register to vote shouldn’t be voting. Just a thought…

From Seattle Times: Landlords will be required to provide new tenants with voter-registration information under a new ordinance approved by the Seattle City Council. The council voted 6-0 on Monday to approve Councilmember Kshama Sawant’s proposal. Three council members, Mike O’Brien, M. Lorena González and Tim Burgess, were absent.

Property owners already are required to give tenants an information packet on housing laws, prepared by the city’s Department of Construction and Inspections. Landlords have the option of downloading the packet online and printing it out.

Now, landlords will need to add voter-registration information to the packet. It will take effect 30 days after Mayor Ed Murray signs it, according to a council spokesman.

Studies have shown that people on the move vote at lower rates, the ordinance says. While 41 percent of renters in their homes for more than five years reported voting in 2014, only 21 percent who had lived in their homes for less than one year reported voting, the ordinance says, citing U.S. Census Bureau data.

Seattle is the fastest-growing big city in the country, according to a Seattle Times analysis of Census Bureau data released this past month. From July 2015 through July 2016, the city had a net gain of nearly 21,000 people — 57 per day, on average.

Representatives from a number of community and nonprofit organizations supported Sawant’s proposal, including the Tenants Union of Washington, the Capitol Hill Community Council, The Washington Bus and LGBTQ Allyship.

The proposal has met with a mixed reaction from landlord groups.

A statement on the Rental Housing Association of Washington’s website questions why the measure to boost voter participation involves only renters. “While homeowners are more likely to be registered, data also shows that far less than 100% of homeowners are registered,” the website notes. “City voter registration outreach, at a starting point, should be enhanced by including this same information with all utility bills, at all city-endorsed events, and included with all city emails.

“Council should also consider requiring that voter registration information be included with all residential real estate transactions.”

Brett Waller, spokesman for the Washington Multi-Family Housing Association, which represents larger landlords and property managers, sees value in what the council did and in thinking more broadly about how to reach potential voters.

“Can property managers help increase voter registration by providing one packet containing the summary of laws and voter registration information to tenants? Absolutely,” Waller said in an email.

“We are engaging with the city now to ensure implementation is easy and straightforward for our members. In fairness, property managers are not the only vehicle by which prospective voters can obtain information on how to vote, and we certainly don’t want to be unduly penalized.


10 responses to “City Council decides Seattle landlords must give voter-registration info to new renters

  1. Oh and I am sure there will be no push for these renters to register as Democrats now will there????

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Unbelievable! I certainly agree, folks who are so stupid that they cannot figure out how to sign up to vote, should not be voting. Just like those who do not have any form of picture ID should not be voting. How can you be a member of society, and yet not know how to get signed up to vote . . . the majority of these same folks certainly know how to get signed up for all the “freebies.”

    Liked by 3 people

  3. We can also assume that US Citizenship is NOT required.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Very true and we most likely can also assume the equal amount of information about the Republicans will also find its way into the packet, right?
      There has to be laws on this, especially when it concerns non citizens to vote. Are they in favor of voter ID also?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Download it and PRINT it at the landlords expense??? I don’t think so. If the city wants these packets given out to tenants then the city needs to PRINT the packets and deliver them to the landlords offices. It is not right to make the landlords put money out of their pockets just because the city wants to change the laws!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Looks like those in charge are setting up victory for every single future election. And you can bet it is all about liberalism. They will also convince the new tenants just how much they will be helping them.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. clearly unconstitutional. it singles out one particular group to which the law applies. all others are exempt. at the very least real estate trasaction would have to be covered as well. and in our city we have a fair number of people living in motels that would need to be notified. maybe to city council could save time and shoot themselves in the foot with their own gun. oh wait. they don’t have guns. it makes them safer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My thoughts exactly—why does this law NOT apply to those transferring real estate of any kind in any way for any period of time? Home sellers/buyers (real estate brokers, too), motel/hotel providers, storage unit renters/providers, car rentals, venue renters/providers, warehouse units….on and on….????This “law” is being applied unevenly…to disperate members of the Seattle populace.

      (Aside: can anyone give me a truly serious—or even NOT serious—explanation as to WHAT is in the DNA of the population of the 3 West coast states of California/Oregon/Washington that makes them “think” this way?????? We can depend upon them, for example, to think they can legistlate the foreign policy and national security of the USA along their own “global” lines….regardless of the Federal Constitution that denies states this “right.” And so, maybe this little rental caveat is just a gnat in the face of their otherwise blood-sucking Vulture-like actions…but just the same…it is not Constitutional).

      Liked by 1 person

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