Illegal aliens set to tilt Yakima, Wash. election scales by being included in district headcounts
In a move that some are saying could provide illegal immigrants with a disproportionate amount of representation in Yakima, Washington, immigrant rights activists are suing the city in an attempt to re-jigger the city’s current voting procedures.
Quietly last week, immigration lawyer Tim Schoenrock filed a law suit against Yakima on behalf of his client, former Democratic Party chairman, Tony Sandoval. The suit alleges that the city has been violating Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act (which prohibits any voting procedure that results in a discriminatory outcome), by allowing for an at-large City Council voting system that they believe discriminates against the Latino population – which votes at a lower rate than their white counterparts.
“The white population votes at a larger percentage than Latinos thereby over ruling every time the Latino group disagrees with the white vote,” explained Schoenrock.
With Latinos comprising 40 percent of the population, the hope is to have more Latino representation on the City Council, a problem critics say would not be an issue if Latinos actually ran for office more often.
To solve the perceived problem, Sandoval and Schoenrock want to see the city divided into seven equal districts, so that citizens will only be able to elect one council representative per district. This likely would be uncontroversial were there not an effort to ensure that illegals are counted in the districting process.
Since last year, the United States Department of Justice has been arguing that illegals in districts throughout the city of Irving, Texas can be counted to determine district lines. Under the one-man-one-vote principle, the pursuit has resulted in the dilution of actual citizen’s votes – for by drawing districts using total population rather than the population of citizens, the districts have been drawn unevenly.
In other words, if each district hypothetically were required to have 10,000 people (both illegal aliens and citizens) then a district with only 8,000 citizens would have the same number of council members as a district with 10,000 citizens.
With Justice squarely on the side of more representation for illegal aliens, it makes sense that the same concept will be at issue in Yakima – with its reputedly high illegal population.
According to former Justice lawyer, J. Christian Adams, the cases in Yakima and Irving will likely advise what is to come.
“This has enormous implications nationwide,” Adams told TheDC. “The central question is: will the voting power of American citizens be diluted because illegal aliens are given political representation. Eric Holder wants the answer to be yes.”
Follow Caroline on Twitter