WashingtonVotes.org Provides the Only Plain-English Description of 2007 Legislation
Seattle - Every step of the 2007 Legislative Session will be documented by www.WashingtonVotes.org, a free website that provides concise, plain-English, objective descriptions of every bill, amendment and vote of the Washington legislature. The site's searchable electronic database, by issue or bill number, allows users to learn about every action of the legislature within 24 hours of its occurrence.
Citizens interested in particular issues such as health care, education or taxes can also register to receive daily e-mail alerts of legislative action on those issues.
This information is completely non-partisan and free to the user. Users can also easily find who their legislator is and the latest bills on a specific subject and follow the progress of those bills. The website also includes an archive of past bills starting with the 2001 Legislative Session.
Citizens are using www.WashingtonVotes.org as a place to post their thoughts about bills in the website's citizen comment section. State agencies, members of local governments, schools and citizen groups use the site to monitor bills during the fast-moving Sessions. University and college faculty and students go to the website to teach and learn about the legislative process. Reporters covering state government regularly rely on WashingtonVotes.org for quick access to voting record information.
2006 was extremely successful for WashingtonVotes.org and site traffic increased substantially over the previous year. We summarized and tracked all 4,210 bills, 4,069 amendments and substitutes, and 876 new laws from the 2005-2006 Legislative Biennium. We also tracked every roll call vote cast by every legislator. The site received over 1.1 million session visits, a 172% increase in total visits, and nearly 5 million hits.
Washington State Auditor, Brian Sonntag, says, "I use WashingtonVotes.org more than the state government website to track bills during Session. It's the easiest way to follow legislation."
The Vancouver Columbian said of WashingtonVotes.org, "The site provides a faster way to check the voting records and bill sponsorship of a particular legislator than official legislative web sitesâ€¦ [WashingtonVotes.org] offers clear, concise and objective summaries of legislation."
Twenty-five newspapers around the state have subscribed to the www.WashingtonVotes.org Legislative Roll Call service for 2007 including The Seattle Times, Seattle PI, Spokesman-Review, Olympian, and Tacoma News Tribune. Each paper will publish the top 5 bills of the week and how legislators in their area voted on them.
www.WashingtonVotes.org also continuing the popular Missed Votes Report. At the end of the last two Sessions we published a Missed Votes Report, mirrored after the website's interactive real-time report that provides a tally of each legislator's missed votes. As the WashingtonVotes.org website shines a light on what legislators have done during a session, the Missed Votes Report lets Washingtonians know what legislators did not do during the session. The Missed Votes Report will be available after the 105-day session is complete in April.
WashingtonVotes.org is a free public service of the Washington Policy Center, an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit research and educational institute. Its purpose is to inform citizens, community leaders, business people, media and public officials about legislation that affects their families, schools, jobs and communities. The site empowers citizens to take a more active part in the democratic process, and hold their elected representatives accountable.