Irrigation districts may move to all-mail elections
Senate Bill 5709, introduced by Nikki Torres, R-Pasco, passes in Senate
Last updated 3/2/2023 at 11:24pm
OLYMPIA - Under a bill making its way through the Legislature, irrigation districts would be required to move to all-mail ballots for elections.
Senate Bill 5709, introduced by Sen. Nikki Torres, R-Pasco, would eliminate polling places and absentee ballots for election of irrigation district directors.
The bill passed the Senate, 47-0, on Tuesday, Feb.28. The bill now moves to the House.
According to state officials, the measure applies to about 100 irrigation districts, which construct, operate and maintain irrigation services for agricultural interests.
"This is a common-sense bill that has been well-worked in previous sessions," Torres said. "Irrigation districts are the oldest form of special purpose districts in Washington. The election procedures for irrigation districts reflect this and are antiquated, with even the wording of the current law being in desperate need of an update.
"Senate Bill 5709 removes some questionable terminology from the law, makes some changes to how someone becomes a candidate for the district board, and allows for the safe and secure use of mail-in ballots."