OLYMPIA – Just 12 days into the 2018 legislative session, the Washington State Senate passed SB 6002, the Washington Voting Rights Act (WVRA) by a vote of 29-19.

Introduced by Sen. Rebecca Saldaña, D-Seattle, the WVRA removes barriers in existing state law so that cities, counties, school boards and other local elected bodies can voluntarily adopt changes to their elections systems. It will help ensure that communities across the state have a fair chance at electing candidates of their choice – removing obstacles that nearly 200 Washington cities and countless other local jurisdictions face today.

“This bill is a significant step forward in our ongoing effort to expand access to democracy in Washingtonian, and establish a truly representative government,” Saldaña said. “We saw a dramatic change in representation in cities like Yakima and Pasco after they implemented district-based elections. Washington needs a voting rights act so that every local jurisdiction has the opportunity to do this, and so that impacted communities can truly have a voice that counts.”

The WVRA heads to the House of Representatives.