Lawsuit Successfully Challenges Voter Suppression

Voting Rights Lawsuit Press Release



Contact: Lilliane Ballesteros

[email protected]


Victory for Voting Rights: Lawsuit Successfully Challenges Voter Suppression

[Washington State] – In a triumph for democracy, a coalition of civil rights advocates, legal experts, and concerned citizens announced the successful outcome of a lawsuit aimed at safeguarding voting rights and challenging racial discrimination of latinx/e voters in Benton, Chelan, and Yakima Counties. After 2.5 years of litigation and nearly 5 years of community advocacy, all three counties settled. 

In 2021, Latino Community Fund of Washington State joined voting rights advocates, and filed a complaint alleging that the three Washington counties were disqualifying mail-in ballots of Latino voters at three to six times the rate of Anglo voters. The complaint was filed on behalf of the Latino Community Fund of Washington, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), and individual voters. 

LCF has a long history of working to improve voting rates of Latinx/e voters in WA State, organizing directly with community members, encouraging their civic participation of Latinx/e in WA. In 2016, Yakima Latinx/e voters were 10 times more likely to have their ballots rejected for a perceived “signature mismatch”. These decisions were made by county elected officials, members of the Canvassing Review Board.


In 2017, LCF began advocacy on this issue by educating and assisting voters in curing their ballots. “By reaching this settlement we ensure that voters are not disenfranchised from having their voices heard at the ballot box,” declared Lilliane Ballesteros, Executive Director of Latino Community Fund of WA. 


LCF was represented by Molly Matter of Amend Law, Gibbs Law Group, and Edwardo Morfin of Morfin Law Firm. Lupe Gamboa, retired civil rights lawyer who helped pass laws in WA to protect farmworkers, also consulted on the case.


The settlement requires signature verification training, cultural competency training, and translation of ballot instructions on signature verification into Spanish. In addition, Counties are required to update their websites to include instructions for curing ballots in Spanish. It also required counties to pay an award of attorney fees. 

With this settlement, the coalition celebrates a significant step forward in the ongoing struggle to protect and expand voting rights for all Americans. The decision marks a triumph of justice, underscoring the vital importance of defending democracy and ensuring equitable access to the electoral process.

"As we celebrate this victory, we remain steadfast in our commitment to advancing the cause of voting rights," said LCF’s Executive Director, Lilliane Ballesteros. "Our work is far from over. We will continue to fight against any attempts to undermine democracy and uphold the principle that every voice deserves to be heard at the ballot box."

As advocates celebrate this achievement, we look ahead with renewed determination, resolved to build upon this victory and strive towards a more inclusive and representative democracy for all.

This lawsuit raised awareness of voter suppression within our communities. It is now up to all of us to hold our elected officials accountable to the terms of the settlement. We are thankful to all the courageous witnesses and voter plaintiffs who joined us in defending our right to vote! LCF dedicated countless hours to this lawsuit and we prevailed. Our victory is a victory for all Latino voters and all voters of color across WA State.

For more information on the implications of the court ruling and efforts to protect voting rights, visit


Lilliane Ballesteros

Executive Director

Latino Community Fund

[email protected]



About Latino Community Fund of Washington State 

For more than fifteen years, LCF has been cultivating new leaders, supporting cultural and community based non-profit organizations, and improving the quality of life for all Washingtonians. This year, LCF has been proudly leading legislative advocacy with strong community and youth leaders across WA State. 

For more information on LCF please visit:   

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  • Lilliane Ballesteros
    published this page in Recursos/Resources 2024-04-17 14:39:21 -0700
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