Washington Senate passes Voting Rights Act

Washington state teacher settles discrimination suit

The Senate has passed a measure seeking to reform representation of minorities in local elections.

Senate Bill 6002 moved on a 29-19 vote and now heads to the House for consideration. In previous years, the measure had passed the Democratic-controlled House, but died in Senate, which was controlled by Republicans for five years. Democrats regained control of the Senate in November.

The measure opens the possibility of court challenges to cities, counties and school districts to push them to switch from at-large to district elections in areas where large minority groups are present.

Under the measure, before someone can file a legal action, the political entity must be notified of the challenge to their election system, at which point they’ll have 180 days to remedy the complaint.