A proposed state Voting Rights Act that has languished for years in Olympia now appears to have bipartisan support in the Senate. For four years Rep. Luis Moscoso, D-Mountlake Terrace, has led the effort in the House to pass the law he says would make it easier to avoid costly court battles over local voting rights. Yakima’s expensive years-long case with the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is the prime example cited by supporters in the House, where the bill passed earlier this month on a 50-47 vote. No Central Washington lawmakers supported the measure.
On Thursday the bill passed out of the Senate Committee on Government Operations & Security with Democrats being joined by two Republican senators, Pam Roach and Don Benton, in support.
Moscoso said in a telephone interview Friday he believes the change in Yakima’s voting districts — which helped elect the city’s first three Latino council members — secured some Republican support for the Voting Rights Act.