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(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Today by a 99-1 vote, the Senate approved election reform legislation.

The $3.5 billion bill will upgrade voting equipment and registration procedures, and implement new national election standards, such as permitting people to check ballots and correct errors before their votes are counted.

Sen. Murray released the following statement.

"I applaud the Senate for passing important election reform legislation today.

The public's faith in the democratic process was badly shaken by the 2000 Presidential election and the disenfranchisement of thousands of voters in Florida. Every American should have his or her vote count and be counted, and that's what this legislation helps to ensure.

I am pleased that Washington state's vote-by-mail system is protected in this legislation. Mail-in voting is a proven and effective way to empower more voters and our state has one of the highest rates of participation in the country in part because of our vote-by-mail system. Sen. Cantwell has been a tireless advocate for Washington's interests and it to be commended for her work on this legislation.

Today's legislation protects one of the most sacred rights of Americans citizenship – the right to vote."