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Voting Rights

Voting for officials and issues is an essential part of a democratic society. The franchise must never be conditioned on a person’s gender, ethnicity, or wealth. The ACLU works to ensure that no citizen is unfairly denied his or her right to vote.

Victory!  Pasco approves consent decree in voting rights case
Have a criminal record?  Get our guide to Washington's Voting Rights Restoration Law

Topic Resources

News Release, Published: 
Thursday, October 29, 2015
An historic advance for Latino voters in Yakima has taken place in the wake of an ACLU-WA legal victory
News Release, Published: 
Wednesday, October 21, 2015
Individuals now have a much improved opportunity to register to vote when they sign up for public benefits, thanks to efforts made by the state to improve compliance with the Ntl. Voter Registration Act.
Published: 
Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Yakima held its first election under the City Council district system created by an ACLU-WA lawsuit. Many people in new majority-Latino districts who didn’t vote in the last primary cast ballots this year – showing citizens will participate in elections when they have a meaningful opportunity to do so.
News Release, Published: 
Monday, April 13, 2015
Today 44 community groups from around the state sent a letter (attached) to Washington state lawmakers calling upon the legislature to pass the Washington Voting Rights Act (WVRA).
News Release, Published: 
Monday, December 22, 2014

A federal court has ruled that the persistent delays in providing court-ordered competency evaluation and restoration services to pre-trial detainees in jails violates due process rights. The ruling is an important confirmation that the Constitution protects everyone, including people with mental illness.  

News Release, Published: 
Friday, August 22, 2014

A federal court today ruled that the City of Yakima’s election system for City Council violates the federal Voting Rights Act. The court ruled that the system dilutes Latino votes and that “… City Council elections are not ‘equally open to participation’ by members of the Latino minority.”  According to the ACLU of Washington, although Voting Rights Act lawsuits have forced reforms in many cities’ election systems across the country, this case is the first such suit in Washington state.

News Release, Published: 
Friday, March 8, 2013

The Washington Voting Rights Act (WVRA), HB 1413, today passed the Washington House of Representatives by a vote of  53-44. Sponsored by Representative Luis Moscoso and Senator Sharon Nelson, the bill is designed to ensure fair representation and accountability in local governments throughout the state.

News Release, Published: 
Friday, January 25, 2013

The Washington Voting Rights Act (WVRA) – HB 1413, a bill designed to ensure fair representation in local governments throughout the state, has been introduced in the 2013 Washington Legislature. Sponsored by Representative Luis Moscoso and Senator Sharon Nelson, the measure will have a hearing on Wednesday, January 30 at 1:30 pm in the House Government Operations and Elections Committee.

Published: 
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Marginalized people need to know that they have the right to vote. To that end, I was recently one of a small group of thoughtful, committed Seattle University law students who helped people in local homeless shelters and food banks participate in the democratic process.
Published: 
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Are you ready to make a difference?  This fall, Washington voters will fill out ballots that decide who will lead our country and our state.  They will speak out on legalizing, taxing, and regulating marijuana.  They will determine who can marry the person that they love.  In other words, your civil liberties and those of everyone in the state are on the line.  Will your voice be heard? 

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