Yakima County Residents File Lawsuit to Protect Latino Voting Rights
On Monday, July 13, MacDonald Hoague & Bayless and the Campaign Legal Center filed a lawsuit on behalf of OneAmerica and several Yakima County residents alleging that Yakima's system of using at-large elections to choose County Commissioners violates the Washington Voting Rights Act by preventing Latino residents from electing candidates of their choice.
Six months ago, in compliance with the Washington Voting Rights Act, the plaintiffs put Yakima County on notice that its use of at-large elections violated the law and asked the County to voluntarily adopt a solution. The plaintiffs shared data showing that racially polarized voting diluted the effect of Latino votes and prevented the Latino community from electing candidates of their choice, and they suggested other electoral systems, such as ranked-choice voting, that could provide meaningful voting rights to the entire community. Despite these efforts, the County failed to engage in any meaningful effort to explore a voluntary solution, so today the plaintiffs went to court to demand a fair election system.
Read the complaint here.
Read OneAmerica's press release here.
MHB attorney Tiffany Cartwright serves as pro bono local counsel to the Campaign Legal Center for this case.