Seattle Votes Campaign Aims to Lower Barriers to Immigrant and Refugee Civic Engagement

In April, the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs (OIRA) launched the Seattle Votes campaign to identify barriers to voting and civic engagement for Seattle’s immigrant and refugee residents. The campaign consists of an anonymous survey that will provide data for organizations, King County, and the City to better understand the civic needs of specific immigrant and refugee communities within Seattle.

“Immigrants and refugees are a vital thread in the fabric of Seattle, with one out of five residents foreign-born,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “Often these communities face significant obstacles to gaining citizenship and participating in elections. Through Seattle Votes, we will gain community-level data to help us better serve these communities, creating more opportunity for refugees and immigrants to participate in our democracy.”

There has been a great response rate to the survey, but the City has a goal of reaching just under 1,700 more responses by June 17!

  • If you are an immigrant/refugee over the age of 18 living in King County, please take the survey. It takes about 6 minutes, and the results are completely anonymous.
  • If you have friends, family, and/or colleagues over the age of 18 who are immigrants/refugees living in King County, please share this blog post with them, and encourage them to complete a Seattle Votes online survey.

The Seattle Votes online survey has been translated into ten languages:

The City will publish the findings in an official report in August. The disaggregated results will help inform policies to improve naturalization, voter registration, and voting rates.