It is welcome news that the Legislature is considering the Washington Voting Rights Act [“State House Democrats push forward minority voting bill,” Local News, Jan. 25].
Washington has a history of bipartisan efforts of voter inclusion. Vote by mail, creation of the Washington State Redistricting Commission and passage of Initiative 872, which allows a vote for any candidate regardless of party affiliation, are all recent improvements in our elections.
The Washington Voting Rights Act unfortunately does not go far enough. The change to district elections from at-large votes assumes a segregated society. In order to fix underrepresentation of our elected officials, Washington should go to a more proportional voting system, such as cumulative voting, which gives minority voices (whether racial or partisan) a chance in proportion to their total percentage, district, city or county wide.
However, the reality is that we are still segregated by race, class and party affiliation to a large degree. The Washington Voting Rights Act is a step in the right direction. Republicans have supported improvements to access to representation in the past. This is a bipartisan win for fairness and should be supported this year by the state House and Senate.
Susan Goding, Burien