“Judge redraws WA’s legislative map after lawsuit over Latino voters”

Seattle Times:

Washington’s political map is set to change in response to allegations of discrimination against Latino voters, and a result could be Democrats winning more seats in the Legislature.

U.S. District Court Judge Robert Lasnik approved new boundaries for several state legislative districts in a written order Friday, after ruling last year that the current map impaired the ability of Latino voters in the Yakima Valley and Pasco areas to elect their preferred candidates.

The new map will create an additional Democrat-leaning district in Central Washington and could affect the balance of power in other districts, experts said. Some advocates said Friday’s order would cement the strength of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and Democrats applauded the new map, while Republicans slammed it, with a Latina state senator from Pasco calling it a “partisan gerrymander.”

The new boundaries will be used in legislative elections this year unless conservative opponents convince the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to put them on hold….

MORE from the UCLA Voting Rights Project.

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