Yakima voting rights plan going to federal judge

A federal judge will be asked Friday to choose between different plans for improving Latino voting rights in Yakima.

The City Council voted Tuesday for a plan to create five geographic districts and two positions voted on city-wide.

The American Civil Liberties Union wants a separate district for each of the seven council members. The ACLU sued the city in 2012. It said the system at the time of four district and three at-large council members disenfranchised Latino voters. More than 40 percent of the city’s population is Latino.

The Yakima Herald-Republic reports one of the five geographic districts proposed by the city would be Latino majority.

The city has already spent $797,000 on the case. Friday’s hearing will be before U.S. District Judge Thomas Rice in Spokane.