Yakima council expected to drop appeal of voting-rights case - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima council expected to drop appeal of voting-rights case

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YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) - The Yakima City Council is expected to drop its appeal of the American Civil Liberties Union voting rights lawsuit that changed city elections last year.
 
A council majority is expected to vote Tuesday to rescind the appeal.
 
If that happens, Yakima will owe more than $1.8 million in legal fees and costs to the ACLU as ordered by a federal judge.
 
ACLU legal director Emily Chiang said Friday her group would give $100,000 of that back to Yakima under a tentative agreement.
 
The ACLU sued the city in 2012, arguing Yakima's system of at-large and geographically defined districts was unconstitutional because it suppressed the interests of the city's Latinos.
 
In 2014, U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Rice agreed and ordered the city to adopt a district-based council system.
 
The first elections under the new system were held in November, and voters elected the first three Latino council members in Yakima's history.

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