After four unsuccessful attempts by lawmakers in past sessions, sponsors of a state Voting Rights Act remain optimistic about action this year.
An amended version of House Bill 1745 to enact a state Voting Rights Act passed out of the Senate's Committee on Government Operations & Security Feb. 2, and is awaiting a possible floor vote in the Senate. The bill cleared the House on a party-line 50-47 vote Feb. 4.
“This is about making sure that all of our citizens have an electoral system that respects their vote and helps them to elect people from their communities that they choose,” said Rep. Luis Moscoso, who represents Bothell and north Kirkland from the 1st District.
Moscoso and the House have tried for years, unsuccessfully, to pass the state version of the federal Voting Rights Act, which aims to provide remedies for minority voters who believe they are being denied adequate opportunities to win elections. In some cases, the goal is to have district-based elections, rather than at-large general elections.
Yakima's electoral system is in federal receivership because it "fostered vote dilution among Latinos," according to the city's former mayor. Rep. Moscoso says his bill gives voters and cities a way to "fix the underrepresentation of ethnic minorities in elected government positions," without costly federal interventions.
Bring it to the floor for a vote, Senate Republicans.