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Inslee asks Yakima not to appeal elections order

SEATTLE (AP) -- Gov. Jay Inslee is encouraging the Yakima City Council not to appeal a federal judge's order to change local elections to comply with the Voting Rights Act.

Last week, District Court Judge Thomas Rice found that Yakima's city council elections violate the federal Voting Rights Act, finding that Latinos do not have full participation in city council races.

Yakima Mayor Cawley tells the Yakima Herald-Republic (http://bit.ly/VRgwEv) the city is leaving its options open.

Rice's summary judgment came after the Washington chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union sued Yakima in 2012. The organization argues that the city's at-large elections dilute the Latino vote and block representation despite the minority group making up a third of the city's voting-age population.

In a letter sent Thursday, Inslee asks the city council to focus on implementing a plan to address the judge's order.

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Online:

Inslee's letter to the Yakima City Council: http://1.usa.gov/1pbkKOb

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