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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.
Latino voters make history in Yakima
Victory!  Pasco approves consent decree in voting rights case
Making History! Latino voter participation increases under Yakima's new district system
Have a criminal record? Download our voting rights restoration guide!
"Presidential Commission on Election Integrity" is a sham!  ACLU of Washington calls for commission using voter fraud as a pretext for voter suppression to be disbanded.

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News Release, Published: 
Wednesday, April 6, 2016
The Yakima City Council has voted unanimously to drop its appeal of the ACLU-WA's landmark voting rights case.  The Court's decision ensures that all Yakima residents have a say in their government.  The Council's decision will now enable the City to move forward with the important work of building a better future for all the people in Yakima. 

El Restablecimiento Del Derecho a Votar en Washington

Document, Published: 
Tuesday, March 1, 2016
La asamblea legislativa de Washington recientemente aprobó una ley la cual automáticamente restaura el derecho a votar a personas culpables de delitos graves al haber cumplido su condena de prisión y período de supervisión comunitaria bajo la supervisión del Departamento Correccional. Esta ley entró en vigor el 26 de julio de 2009.
Published: 
Thursday, January 21, 2016
In 2012, the ACLU filed a lawsuit (Montes v. Yakima) on behalf of Yakima residents Mateo Arteaga and Rogelio Montes in the U.S. District Court for Eastern Washington, charging that Yakima’s at-large City Council election system violated Section 2 of the federal Voting Rights Act.
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: 
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
The U.S. District Court for Eastern Washington today issued an order requiring Yakima to implement a plan for seven single-member districts for City Council elections. The action followed a 2014 ruling that the city’s election at-large election system unlawfully diluted the votes of Yakima’s Latino residents. The decision came in a lawsuit by the ACLU of Washington challenging Yakima’s system for violating the federal Voting Rights Act.    
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.

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