> United States > Washington > Secretary of State
|Established|| 00, 1983|
|Disbanded|| Still Active |
|Last Modified||Ralphie December 26, 2010 12:06pm|
Each decade, following the US Census, Washington's Congressional and Legislative district boundaries are redrawn. This was initially a task reserved for the Legislature. However, they passed a bill in 1983 creating a nonpartisan commission to handle redistricting, to go into effect following the 1990 Census. |
The Washington State Redistricting Commission is comprised of four members and a non-voting Chair. The four members are appointed by the leaders of each party's respective caucus in each house of the Legislature. They then select the Chair with the stipulation that one will be appointed by the state Supreme Court if the Commission is unable to agree on its Chair.
These are the general rules the Commission must follow in crafting a new map:
1. Districts shall have nearly equal representation.
2. District lines should coincide with local political subdivisions (such as city and county lines) and "communities of interest."
3. Districts should be convenient, contiguous (share a common land border or transportation route) and compact.
4. Districts must not favour or discriminate against one political party or group.
5. District divisions should encourage electoral competition.
Any proposed redistricting plan must be approved by at least three of the four voting Commission members. The Commission must submit its proposed boundaries to the Legislature for approval during its regular session the year the changes would go into effect. If the proposed boundaries are not amended by the Legislature in the first 30 days of the following session the new districts will go into effect. Any amendments, however, may not affect more than 2% of a legislative district's population and must be approved by at least 2/3 of the membership of both houses of the Legislature. The governor may not veto any redistricting plan. If the Commission fails to meet its submission deadline the state Supreme Court must prepare a plan by the end of April of that year.