Weeks 7 & 8: Overview

3/13/2017 – Bill Spotlight: HB 1800, the Washington Voting Rights Act [WVRA]

Bernal Baca, AFT-WA Lobbyist, writes in the March 10th Legisletter that “HB 1800 is quite possibly one of the most important bills that has moved on to the Senate.” The House voted it out of their chamber with a narrow margin on party lines: yeas 51, nays 46. This is the fifth consecutive year the bill has attempted the journey; last fall, EWU faculty highlighted the WVRA in the TEACH-IN on Diversity and Voting Rights. HB 1800 attempts to correct a lack of ethnic and minority representation inherent to the state’s at-large voting systems. For example, the combined Latino population for ten counties in Central and Eastern Washington exceeds 33% of the total population; yet Latinos hold only 4% of elected offices (78 out of 1,891) in those counties; there, 92% of the election systems are at-large and only 1% are single-member districts. Learn more about the intent of the WVRA here.

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