For Immediate Release: Jay Inslee, Adam Smith, and Bob Ferguson Endorse the Washington Voting Rights Act
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 3, 2012
Contact: David Perez , firstname.lastname@example.org, 206.618.4293
Jay Inslee, Adam Smith, and Bob Ferguson Endorse the Washington Voting Rights Act
OLYMPIA, Washington — The Washington Voting Rights Act of 2012 (HB 2612 / SB 6381) received a big boost today with three strong endorsements from Congressman Jay Inslee (D-WA 1), Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA 9), and King County Council Member Bob Ferguson.
The Washington Voting Rights Act would provide voters in Washington State with the ability to challenge voting systems that have left entire communities with no voice in our political process. In particular, some at-large electoral systems make it nearly impossible for certain communities to get political representation. Under the Washington Voting Rights Act, voters can challenge these at-large systems when they can prove “racially polarized voting.” The Seattle Times Editorial Board called the remedy of providing for district-based elections “a solid avenue for voter redress.”
“I am proud to support the Washington State Voting Rights Act of 2012. “’One Person, One Vote’ is at the heart of our democracy,” said Congressman Adam Smith in a statement. “This meaningful legislation would insure that racial minorities have the best possible opportunity to be heard and be well represented by their elected officials, just like all other Washingtonians. This is a simple matter of equality that ensures that everyone has the same opportunities guaranteed in the Federal Voting Rights Act. This piece of legislation will help ensure this happens here in Washington State.”
Gubernatorial candidate, Jay Inslee, agrees. “I applaud the efforts of the broad coalition supporting the Washington Voting Rights Act and am proud to support this important legislation. Our democracy is dependent on robust participation of both the electorate and those willing to serve. Any healthy democracy must seek diversity and equitable representation for all. In instances where it is clear that opportunity is being repressed, there must be a process for righting that wrong. That’s why, in 2006, I voted for a 25 year extension of expiring portions of the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act and why I support efforts to promote equality and democracy at the local and state level as well–including the Washington Voting Rights Act.”
“I am pleased to support the Washington Voting Rights Act,” said Bob Ferguson, candidate for Attorney General, in a statement. “This legislation will affirm Washington State’s commitment to the principles of democracy, fairness, and equal representation. It will provide a set of tools to help us build an even stronger democracy in Washington State.”
The Washington Voting Rights Act has already passed through committees in both the House and Senate and is currently in the each house’s Rules Committee. The prime sponsor of HB2612 is Representative Phyllis Gutierrez Kenney (D-46), while Senator Margarita Prentice (D-11) is the prime sponsor of SB6381.
For more information and to endorse the WA Voting Rights Act, visit fairrepresentationwa.org/wvra. Support for the bill is led by the Fred Korematsu Center for Law & Equality, OneAmerica Votes, and Win-Win Action via United for Fair Representation – a coalition of organizations and community leaders that formed to educate and encourage our communities to participate in the democratic process to achieve fair representation.