Legal fee concerns raised for WA voting rights act

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Associated Press

Posted on January 30, 2013 at 6:33 PM

SEATTLE (AP) — Opponents of a bill aiming to reform representation of minorities in local elections say the measure would be expensive for local municipalities because of possible legal fees.

A House of Representatives panel held a hearing Wednesday on the so-called "Washington Voting Rights Act," attracting a lively debate on the measure that's being pushed by minority interest groups.

The measure allows for minority individuals or groups to seek court-mandated orders to jurisdictions to reform their elections. Those jurisdictions include towns and cities of 1,000 people or more, school districts, fire districts, counties, ports among others.

But concerns were raised by lobbyists representing cities, saying that municipalities may be forced to spend money on legal fees if a complaint is taken to court. Proponents say the bill does not mean immediate legal action.

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