ACLU lawyers and advocates sent a letter Monday to the Washington State Redistricting Commission arguing that while the numbers of Latinos in Yakima County continue to grow, they do not have political representation in the state Legislature.
They say that conditions in Yakima County meet the thresholds established in the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 for creating a majority-minority district.
The effort is interesting for many reasons. Not the least of which being the dichotomy it points out between voting legislative efforts in the states.
While red states like Arizona, Wisconsin, and Alaska are passing voter-ID laws--which are essentially nothing more than clever schemes to make it harder for young people and minorities (i.e. Latinos) to vote--blue states like Washington are looking to give Latinos their own legislative districts.
The difference, it would appear, is the voter fraud (for which voter ID laws are supposedly the answer) is not a real problem.
Disenfranchised voters, however, are an actual problem. And redrawing the legislative districts to better serve them is actually a plan that will accomplish something positive. Something democratic.
Both plans will undoubtedly help the corresponding political parties that are pushing them and they'll be wrestled over as such.
It's just that creating legislative districts that better serve voters helps people.