Olympia — At 9:55 p.m. Sunday, the four voting members of the Washington State Redistricting Commission unanimously approved the final version of the Washington State Redistricting Plan. The plan was transmitted to Legislative leadership at 10:35 p.m. The Final Plan and supporting documents can be viewed by visiting the Commission’s website at www.redistricting.wa.gov. The final report to the Legislature will be published on Monday, January 9, 2012. The content of the Final Report is established in statute and is meant to provide the Legislature with the information they need to analyze the details of the Commission’s plan. The Legislature has 30 days beginning the first day of the 2012 Regular Session to review and make any changes to the final plan.
The Legislature can make changes to no more than two percent of the population of any given district and must approve these changes with a two-thirds vote of both houses. After the 30-day review period has passed, with or without Legislative action, the Final Plan becomes law. After the legislative review period, Redistricting Commission staff will post the final version of the Redistricting Plan on the website and create a map of Washington’s Congressional and legislative districts to be used for the next ten years. County Auditors from across the state as well as members of the public have been integral to the Commission’s process, identifying technical issues with the draft plan and recommending solutions in advance of adoption.
County Auditors have the responsibility to implement the lines established by this plan for the 2012 Primary and General Elections. Washington voters established the Washington State Redistricting Commission in 1983 to ensure voting boundaries are established through a fair and bipartisan process.
The Commission includes two Democrats and two Republicans as voting members and a non-voting, nonpartisan chair. Lura Powell, from Richland, serves as the Commission chair. Democratic appointees to the Commission are Tim Ceis, Seattle; and Dean Foster, Olympia. Republican members are former U.S. Sen. Slade Gorton, Bellevue; and Tom Huff, Gig Harbor.