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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
Voting Rights Restoration
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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.
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.
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? 
Monday, September 10, 2012
The ACLU is working on educating Washington citizens about who is eligible to vote and how one can register to vote.  You can help: Take our voting rights quiz and share it with others.
News Release, Published: 
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Vicci Martinez, Washington native and finalist on “The Voice,” was a featured speaker and singer at an ACLU-WA forum on voting rights held in Granger.  The forum came after the ACLU-WA filed a lawsuit seeking to change Yakima’s system for electing candidates to the City Council.  The suit charges that the current system unlawfully dilutes the Latino vote and effectively prevents Latinos from meaningful participation in City Council elections. 
Thursday, August 16, 2012
Changing the law is just Step One in extending legal rights. Step Two is making sure people know what their legal rights are, so that – and here’s Step Three – they can actually exercise those rights.
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
The ACLU of Washington’s offices are graced with moving and inspiring photos, including many of our past clients. Occupying pride of place in the ACLU conference room, however, is a vintage photo of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Today, April 4, 2012, marks the 44th anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination.
News Release, Published: 
Monday, June 6, 2011
The ACLU of Washington and National Voting Rights Advocacy Initiative are urging the Washington Redistricting Commission to establish a majority-minority state legislative district in Yakima County.  In a letter submitted to the commission, the groups said the district is needed as a matter of democratic governance and in order to comply with the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965.