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Bill #:  1413

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Washington Voting Rights Act

Companion bill #: No Companion Bill.

Senate - CMTE - DEAD

Summary/AWC comments

The Washington Voting Rights Act establishes a state legal action for at-large and district-based elections that may deny minorities an equal opportunity to elect candidates or influence the outcome of an election. The bill allows an individual or group to sue a city, school district, fire protection district, port district, or public utility district alleging that the jurisdiction’s election method dilutes their voting preference. The bill exempts cities and towns with a population under 1,000.

If the court determines vote-dilution has occurred, the court may impose district-based elections tailored to remedy the situation and may order new elections. Unlike previous versions of the legislation, HB 1413 authorizes local governments to establish voting districts and conduct district-based elections, if necessary to comply with the act.

Although the bill attempts to address some local government concerns, the proposal imposes ongoing liability and costs for cities with no guarantee that it would address the issues raised by proponents.

Latest version of bill:

Link to WA Legislative bill page

Official title:

AN ACT Relating to establishing a voting rights act to promote equal voting opportunity in certain political subdivisions by authorizing district-based elections, requiring redistricting and new elections in certain circumstances, and establishing a cause of action to redress lack of voter opportunity;


Moscoso, S. Hunt, Santos, Liias, Ryu, Fey, Upthegrove, Dunshee, Tarleton, Pedersen, Bergquist, Hudgins, McCoy, Maxwell, Cody, Jinkins, Appleton, Sawyer, Roberts, Fitzgibbon, Habib, Reykdal, Pollet, Or

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AWC Contacts

Analyst:  Serena Dolly
Lobbyist:  Victoria Lincoln

Issue Area

General Government

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