Click the topics below to learn more about Gael’s plans.
- Expanding Automatic Voter Registration. In 2018, Gael helped pass one of the country’s first automatic voter registration (AVR) laws, which automatically registers eligible Washingtonians to vote when they renew their driver’s license. Gael will work to expand AVR to public universities and other state programs and institutions. We should make registering to vote as easy as it can be.
- Increasing Voter Education. As a State Representative, Gael sponsored legislation that would have required counties to conduct voter education and reimburse them for the cost. If elected, Gael will work to expand voter education programs, so that all Washingtonians participate in the political process.
- Stopping Unnecessary Purges. During the last eight years, over a million Washingtonians have been purged from the state’s voter rolls, often without explanation. These purges disproportionately impact minority voters. As Secretary of State, Gael will reform this practice and will invite community groups into the process to help determine if any individuals are wrongly targeted.
- Fighting for More Resources to Protect our Elections. Gael’s opponent fought legislation in 2019 to provide billions to the states to protect their elections from foreign manipulation. Gael believes this was wrong: the Russians tried to penetrate our state’s election networks and databases in 2016, and the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee recently reported that the Russians are at it again, attempting to disrupt our elections in 2020. As a security expert, Gael knows that neither our state and nor our counties can fight a determined foreign government alone. Gael will work with state and federal leaders to get Washington all the resources it can to prepare for future attacks.
- Setting Strong Standards for the Security of Our Technology. The current federal security standards for our voting machines are fifteen years old. We must update these to ensure that our systems stay safe. While Gael’s opponent opposed designating election systems as “critical infrastructure,” Gael knows that we have to set and enforce rigorous standards to secure our votes.
- Ensuring Our Elections Are Prepared for Emergencies. When COVID-19 threatened our Spring 2020 elections, Gael’s opponent called on the Governor to use emergency powers to cancel them. We need to establish emergency preparedness plans so that our elections can continue, whether through foreign hacking or a global pandemic.
- Exploring New Technologies. Why can’t we track our ballot as easily as we track our packages? Why is election information split across our 39 counties? Why aren’t we using innovations in election audits to help us identify problems in real time and increase confidence in the political process? Why aren’t we doing more to engage voters on their terms? We must invest in new tools to make voting easier and more secure, and bring voters into the process so that we stay ahead of the curve and maximize voter engagement.
Increasing Training for Elections Workers. We must prepare our elections workers for the challenges of conducting secure elections by partnering with local community and technical colleges to develop professional certification and continuing education opportunities in the field of election security, elections management, and election systems administration.
- Improving Campaign Financing. We need to get dark money out of elections. Gael championed legislation that gave local candidates free television airtime to reduce the costs of campaigning. We must expand on these proposals to help more people run for office and create a fair playing field for all.