ACLU/City of Pasco Press Conference regarding lawsuit - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

ACLU/City of Pasco Press Conference regarding lawsuit

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PASCO, WA - The state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is following up on a lawsuit that forced voting changes in Yakima with a similar case against Pasco, alleging that the way the city runs its elections weakens the political voice of Latinos.
Unlike Yakima, though, Pasco officials are welcoming the lawsuit. They say they want to change their election system so Latinos are better represented on the City Council, but state law prohibits them from making those changes.
Pasco Mayor Matt Watkins says the federal lawsuit filed Thursday could pre-empt the state law and force Pasco to switch to district elections, where candidates are elected by their neighborhood district rather than having to run city-wide.
The ACLU's lawsuit against Yakima forced that city to switch to district voting for city council. Last fall, Yakima elected three Latinas to the City Council - the first time it had elected any.