Senate approves Washington Voting Rights Act

 OLYMPIA…Today the Senate passed legislation that would allow cities and counties to implement district-based elections. The plan, sponsored by Sen. Mark Miloscia, is a simple fix that several cities and counties have requested in order to avoid litigation under the federal Voting Rights Act. 

“This is a simple bill that will give cities and counties the flexibility they need to make their elections more fair and inclusive,” said Miloscia, R-Federal Way. “As it stands today the only way for a local government to change its voting system is through court order.”

Senate Bill 5068 would allow cities and counties to adopt legitimate, good-faith solutions to unfair electoral systems that may exist.

The city of Wenatchee has already expressed interest in district-based elections. Miloscia’s bill would give cities and counties the authority to create district-based systems for electing local representatives.

Miloscia added, “As a member of a very diverse community from many different backgrounds and cultures, I understand how deeply personal it is to see diversity represented in government. I hear the frustration with our current system and believe we now have a way forward to reach a positive, bipartisan solution.”