Federal judge rules against Yakima in voting-rights lawsuit

Federal judge rules against Yakima in voting-rights lawsuit
YAKIMA, Wash. -- A federal judge has ruled for the American Civil Liberties Union in its lawsuit against the city of Yakima over voting rights.

Judge Thomas Rice granted the ACLU's request for summary judgment, saying the group had shown sufficient evidence that the city's electoral system dilutes Latino votes.

Yakima currently uses a hybrid system that includes district and at-large voting. Opponents of that system say it has prevented Latinos from receiving fair representation on the council.

No Latino has ever been elected to the Yakima City Council

Both sides will now have to come up with proposals on how to reform the voting system. Rice will hold a hearing Oct. 3 where the plans will be presented.

Rice's full opinion is available here.