The Washington Supreme Court yesterday authorized use of the new Redistricting Commission boundaries to run the 2012 elections, even as a citizen challenge to the commission's work continues to proceed.
"This is very good news," said. Secretary of State Sam Reed "Our 2012 elections season is barreling down on us, with Filing Week beginning May 14 and Top 2 Primary ballots going in the mail in July," "The counties are working very hard to meet the deadlines for redistricting voting precincts and redrawing a number of boundaries to comply with population shifts and the work of the Commission."
The bi-partisan citizen commission spent 2011 redrawing the 49 legislative districts and 10 congressional districts, using fresh Census data. The Legislature made minor modifications and the plan went into effect on Feb. 7. John Milem, Vancouver, a longtime student of the redistricting process, filed his challenge on Feb. 8.
Chief Justice Barbara Madsen, writing Wednesday for a unanimous court, noted that “In view of the approaching deadlines for the 2012 elections and the need for adequate time to consider arguments of the parties on the merits of the petition, the court unanimously agreed" that the Commission plan will govern this year's elections.