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Spin Control

Posts tagged: congressional districts

New districts good, at least for now

OLYMPIA—Washington voters will choose candidates this fall for the congressional and legislative districts approved this year by a special commission, the state Supreme Court said Wednesday.

Whether those districts will need to be adjusted before the 2014 elections, based on a challenge that they were improperly drawn, remains to be seen. But with the filing deadline for candidates only about two months away, the court said that for 2012, at least, the districts are the ones that determine where voters live, and where candidates run.

Secretary of State Sam Reed, Washington's top elections official, called the ruling “very good news” especially for counties which are scrambling to adjust their voting precincts to comply with the new districts.

The Redistricting Commission finished its work on Jan. 1 of redrawing all the state's legislative districts and adding a tenth congressional district based on the 2010 Census results, and the Legislature approved those districts on Feb. 7. John Milem, a Vancouver citizen who attended almost every meeting of the commission and submitted his own sets of legislative and congressional boundaries, filed a challenge to the new maps on Feb. 8, saying the new districts divide too many cities and counties and reduce competition rather than encourage it.

The Supreme Court said it will consider the challenge, but Milem and the state attorney general's office still have some groundwork to do on setting up the basic facts of the case, and if they can't agree, they may need a Thurston County Superior Court judge to step in, and report back to the high court by May 29.

That's too late for Washington's candidate filing week, which runs from May 14 to 18. Ballots for the state primary go in the mail in July.

“Our 2012 elections season is barrelling down on us,” Reed said.

New district lines approved

OLYMPIA — The Senate gave the final OK today to the new boundaries for Washington's legislative and congressional district lines.

The boundaries, drawn up by the state Redistricting Commission and approved by that panel on Jan. 1, rearrange state legislative districts and add a 10th congressional district to Washington, awarded last year because of population growth.

Under state law, the Legislature  has the authority to tweak the boundaries slightly — no more than 2 percent — but can't make wholesale changes. The House made minor changes by moving Census Blocks around among many of the congressional and legislative districts before passing the boundaries 95-0 last Friday. The Senate approved those changes on a 44-4 vote today.

The maps as approved by the Redistricting Commission can be found here. We'll be posting updated maps as soon as they are available.

Finally: A WA congressional map

OLYMPIA — A subcommittee of the Washington Redistricting Commission released its proposed map for the state's new congressional district.

For Eastern Washington's 5th District sees the least change, losing some of its western most precincts, but otherwise looking about like it does now.

The new 10th District is carved primarily out of Thurston and Pierce counties. The 8th District spans the Cascades, giving the East Side of Washington 2 1/2 districts, at least on paper. The population base, however, is eastern King County.

Take a look at the map here.

The commission is cutting it close. It still needs an Eastern Washington legislative map, must take public comment, make any adjustments and get at least three of the four commissioners' “yea” vote by midnight Jan. 1.  Meeting will continue later today.

It’s official: 10 seats in US House for WA

OLYMPIA — While we've all been proceeding on the assumption that Washington will get a tenth congressional seat this year, it hasn't really been official.

As in not signed, sealed and delivered official from the folks who have the ultimate say in such things, the U.S. House of Representatives.

But the Washington Secretary of State's office now has in its hot collective hands a sealed notice from the Clerk of the House, stating Washington shall be entitled in the 113th Congress (which starts in 2013) and each succeeding congress through 2022, to

TEN REPRESENTATIVES in the House of Representatives.

Capital letters are the clerk's. Not sure if all caps in official documents is like shouting with all caps in an e-mail.

Where WA gained a little, where it gained a lot

 

Washington gets a new congressional district, upping its population in the U.S. House of Representatives from nine to 10, Census Bureau officials announced today.

Politicians all over the state, from  Gov. Chris Gregoire, a Democrat, to Luke Esser, state Republican Party chairman, are thrilled. And why not? It will create a whole new congressional race in 2012.

“At a critical time in our nation’s history, not only do I welcome the additional representation in our nation’s Capitol, I am pleased Washington state’s share of federal funding to support critical programs like Medicaid and education will also increase,” Gregoire said.

Esser had a slightly different take: “An additional congressional seat gives our state the opportunity to send another voice to Congress to advocate for limited and fiscally conservative federal government. This year our state helped to fire Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House…

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Nick Deshais covers Spokane City Hall for The Spokesman-Review.

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