By Office of Governor Jay Inslee | Proclamation

WHEREAS, on February 29, 2020, I issued Proclamation 20-05, proclaiming a State of Emergency for all counties throughout the state of Washington as a result of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak in the United States and confirmed person-to-person spread of COVID-19 in Washington State; and

WHEREAS, on February 29, 2020, I issued Proclamation 20-05, proclaiming a State of Emergency for all counties throughout the state of Washington as a result of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak in the United States and confirmed person-to-person spread of COVID-19 in Washington State; and

WHEREAS, as a result of the continued worldwide spread of COVID-19, its significant progression in Washington State, and the high risk it poses to our most vulnerable populations, I have subsequently issued several amendatory proclamations, exercising my emergency powers under RCW 43.06.220 by prohibiting certain activities and waiving and suspending specified laws and regulations; and

WHEREAS, to curtail the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in Washington State by limiting person-to-person contact through social distancing and limiting in-person interactions. I issued Proclamation 20-25, et seq., which during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic prohibited all people in Washington State from leaving their homes except under certain circumstances and limitations, and then transitioned to a phased, metrics-based reopening in accordance with guidance issued by my office and by the Washington State Department of Health; and

WHEREAS, to curtail the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic on the campuses and facilities of colleges, universities, technical schools, apprenticeship and similar programs, I issued Proclamation 20-12, et seq., which established guidance for remote and in-person learning and residential housing at educational facilities; and

WHEREAS, the right to vote is fundamental to democracy; and

WHEREAS, under Washington’s safe, secure, and successful voting system, eligible Washington residents may register to vote using either mail or the internet up to eight days before an election, and also may register to vote, obtain a ballot, and/or drop off a completed ballot in-person at county elections offices or voting centers and at student engagement HUBs throughout the state (collectively “voting centers”) through 8:00 p.m. on an election day; and

WHEREAS, in order to access in-person registration and voting services for the upcoming general election, Washington voters will be visiting voting centers throughout the state through 8:00 p.m. on Election Day, November 3, 2020, to register, receive a ballot, and vote; and

WHEREAS, voting centers have been enhancing their facilities and operations to provide for safe, accessible services for those who choose to register to vote and/or return their ballot in-person, but many voting centers are located within buildings that are closed or have restricted access due to restrictions imposed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic; and

WHEREAS, Washington election officials are projecting up to 90 percent turnout for the general election and are anticipating a significant increase of in-person registration and voting; and

WHEREAS, to ensure that restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic on access to voting center locations, on public meetings, or on any other activity affecting in-person voter registration or voting do not deter Washingtonians from accessing and utilizing in-person voter registration and voting services, it is necessary to issue clarification, conditions, and exceptions to prohibitions potentially affecting such access and activities; and

WHEREAS, the Washington State Military Department Emergency Management Division, through the State Emergency Operations Center, continues coordinating resources across state government to address the impacts and long-term effects of the emergencies on Washington State and its people.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Jay Inslee, Governor of the state of Washington, as a result of the above-noted situations, and under RCW 38.08, 38.52, and 43.06, do hereby proclaim that a State of Emergency continues to exist in all counties of Washington State, that Proclamation 20-05 and all amendments remain in effect, and that the prohibitions in Proclamations 20-25, et seq., 20-12, et seq., and any other proclamation affecting the right to utilize in person voter registration and voting services are amended as follows: Under RCW 43.06.220(3), for the period from October 27, 2020, through 11:59 p.m. on November 4, 2020, I suspend any prohibition imposed by proclamation or by a government entity under my authority that restricts access to voting centers and student engagement HUBS by persons intending to register to vote, obtain a ballot, receive assistance with a ballot, deposit a ballot, or use other voting-related services, and that restricts access to voting centers and student engagement HUBS or election facilities by election officials. All voting centers, student engagement HUBS, and persons engaged in voting activities should practice physical distancing requirements (six-feet between persons) and use personal protective equipment, including facial coverings, as recommending by the Department of Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

I again direct that the plans and procedures of the Washington State Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan be implemented throughout state government. State agencies and departments are directed to continue utilizing state resources and doing everything reasonably possible to support implementation of the Washington State Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan and to assist affected political subdivisions in an effort to respond to and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and wildfires.

I continue to order into active state service the organized militia of Washington State to include the National Guard and the State Guard, or such part thereof as may be necessary in the opinion of The Adjutant General to address the circumstances described above, to perform such duties as directed by competent authority of the Washington State Military Department in addressing the outbreak. Additionally, I continue to direct the Department of Health, the Washington State Military Department Emergency Management Division, and other agencies to identify and provide appropriate personnel for conducting necessary and ongoing incident related assessments.

Violators of this order may be subject to criminal penalties pursuant to RCW 43.06.220(5).

Signed and sealed with the official seal of the state of Washington on this 27th day of October, A.D., Two Thousand and Twenty at Olympia, Washington.

Jay Inslee, Governor

Mario Lotmore

Mario Lotmore is originally from The Bahamas and for the last seven years has called Mukilteo, WA his home. Having lived in every region of the United States has exposed him to various cultures, people, and approaches to life. Lotmore created the Lynnwood Times to represent the character of a diverse and growing Lynnwood. The launching of the city’s free community newspaper will only help bring neighborhoods together. Lotmore was an industrial engineer by trade and proven success implementing and managing lean accountable processes and policies within his eighteen years of operations excellence, strategic development, and project management in the aerospace, manufacturing, and banking industries. Over his career he has saved and created hundreds of union and non-union jobs. Lotmore is the President of a Homeowner Association, an active Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics volunteer in his community, and former Boeing 747 Diversity Council leader. Mario’s talent is finding “that recipe” of shared destiny to effectively improve the quality of life for others.

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