Redistricting soon to gear up

Redistricting soon to gear up

Washington will get word on Tuesday on whether we’ve grown enough in the past decade to warrant a new seat in Congress.  The Census figures are coming out, amid speculation that we’ll get a 10th congressional district.

The state Redistricting Commission will soon take up the task of redrawing congressional and legislative district boundaries so they represent equal numbers of voters.  Right now, some districts have far more than the ideal-sized population.

The commission will be comprised of four voting members — 2 Ds and 2 Rs, appointed by the four caucus leaders of the Legislature.  The four will select a fifth, nonvoting, member to serve as chair.   Democrats have already named their commissioners.  Tim Ceis, former deputy mayor of Seattle and policy adviser to Governor Locke, will represent the interests of Senate Democrats.  And Dean Foster, former chief clerk of the House and chief of staff to Governor Gardner, will represent the House Democratic caucus.

The commission will have until 2011 to produce new districts and they will take effect in time for the 2012 primary.  The plans do not require legislative approval or the governor’s signature; lawmakers can make minor changes with a two-thirds vote in both houses.

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