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Inslee, others support package of voter access bills

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OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Gov. Jay Inslee says he wants to improve people's access to voting and announced his support of bills that seek to increase voter registration.

He joined several lawmakers Friday in announcing a package of bills ranging from allowing residents with enhanced drivers licenses and IDs to automatically be registered to vote to allowing 16 and 17 year olds to preregister to vote ahead of their 18th birthdays.

Inslee noted that there are 1 million eligible unregistered voters in the state, and that 63 percent of the more than 4.2 million who are registered didn't vote in the November election.

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Another measure seeks to reform representation of minorities in local elections. That measure, which has failed in previous years, has better odds this year since Democrats have regained control of the Senate.

The 60-day legislative session begins Monday.