skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Making holiday travel manageable for those with a chronic health issue; University presidents testify on the rise of anti-semitism on college campuses; Tommy Tuberville's blockade on military promotions is mostly over.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Sen. Tommy Tuberville ends his hold on military promotions, the Senate's leadership is divided on a House Border Bill and college presidents testify about anti-semitism on campus.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Texas welcomes more visitors near Big Bend but locals worry the water won't last, those dependent on Colorado's Dolores River fear the same but have found common ground solutions, and a new film highlights historical healthcare challenges in rural Appalachia.

How Could Ranked-Choice Voting Benefit Yakima County?

play audio
Play

Thursday, August 13, 2020   

YAKIMA, Wash. -- Voting-rights groups want Yakima County residents to rank candidates in elections.

How would that benefit the county?

Latino community members and other groups have sued the Board of Yakima County Commissioners under the Washington Voting Rights Act, alleging the current election system disenfranchises the large Latino population.

Colin Cole, policy director for the group More Equitable Democracy said under ranked choice, winning candidates would need to get at least 25% of votes.

He said under the new system, if a voter's preferred candidate failed to reach that threshold, their second choice would move to the top of their list.

"If you can walk into an ice cream shop, you ask for rocky road, and they say they don't have it - if you understand that you don't have to leave the store because you have a second choice - if you get that, you get ranked-choice voting," Cole explained.

Latinos make up about half of the county's population. For its countywide elections of three seats, Latinos have only won a seat once.

The city of Yakima faced a similar issue and drew districts to create better representation. But Cole noted Latinos are widely dispersed throughout the county, making districts less effective.

Aaron Hamlin, executive director for the Center for Election Science, said there are many varieties of ranked-choice voting.

He said the process has to be well-explained and transparent to the public to work effectively, but has potential to create better representation.

"It would definitely give people more of a sense of involvement and empowerment," Hamlin said. "And seeing that through their vote they're actually having a meaningful outcome in terms of making sure that people who represent them are being elected."

Robin Engle, communications and development director for OneAmerica, said the Latino population in Yakima County has been frustrated with the commission, especially in response to COVID-19, which is disproportionately affecting Latinos.

"We heard again and again that the county commission doesn't represent the Latino community, doesn't invest in the Latino community," Engle said. "And that just the way that the democracy is working in Yakima County isn't working."

The Board of Yakima County Commissioners is being sued under the Washington Voting Rights Act but could settle the case.

Commissioners have expressed interest in working with the community to come up with a solution. Two dozen jurisdictions across the country have adopted ranked-choice voting.

Disclosure: Center for Election Science contributes to our fund for reporting on Campaign Finance Reform/Money in Pol, Civic Engagement, Civil Rights. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
A recent survey by the Anti-Defamation League found nearly three in four Jewish students in the U.S. have experienced or witnessed antisemitism this school year. The Education Department's Office for Civil Rights has also opened investigations into alleged Islamophobic incidents at least a half-dozen colleges and universities. (Adobe Stock)

play sound

College presidents testified before a congressional committee Tuesday on the rise of antisemitism on college campuses since the Oct. 7 Hamas-led …


Social Issues

play sound

There are some bright spots in beefing up local news coverage, but a new report says in North Dakota and elsewhere, there are still big concerns …

Health and Wellness

play sound

Holiday stress is a concern for most people, but when you mix in travel plans and chronic health issues, those worries might be elevated. A …


The average cost in Ohio for college tuition and fees is around $10,049 per year, according to the Education Data Initiative. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

A new report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau finds the repayment process for federal student loans has been filled with errors…

Social Issues

play sound

More than 3,500 foster children are available for adoption in Ohio, and state agencies are connecting with local faith congregations to help recruit …

An endangered Pacific leatherback sea turtle swims off San Francisco, in September 2022. (Geoff Shester/Oceana)

Environment

play sound

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife just announced a marine warden discovered an endangered Pacific leatherback sea turtle dead, drowned …

Health and Wellness

play sound

The state's largest county has just opened the new CARE Court system, designed to get help for severely mentally ill people in Los Angeles. CARE …

Environment

play sound

A Knoxville-based environmental group is voicing health and safety concerns about the development of a landfill for radioactive waste from the Y12 Ura…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021