In the redistricting plan:
(1) Districts shall have a population as nearly equal as is practicable, excluding nonresident military personnel, based on the population reported in the federal decennial census.
(2) To the extent consistent with subsection (1) of this section the commission plan should, insofar as practical, accomplish the following:
(a) District lines should be drawn so as to coincide with the boundaries of local political subdivisions and areas recognized as communities of interest. The number of counties and municipalities divided among more than one district should be as small as possible;
(b) Districts should be composed of convenient, contiguous, and compact territory. Land areas may be deemed contiguous if they share a common land border or are connected by a ferry, highway, bridge, or tunnel. Areas separated by geographical boundaries or artificial barriers that prevent transportation within a district should not be deemed contiguous; and
(c) Whenever practicable, a precinct shall be wholly within a single legislative district.
(3) The commission's plan and any plan adopted by the supreme court under RCW 44.05.100(4) shall provide for forty-nine legislative districts.
(4) The house of representatives shall consist of ninety-eight members, two of whom shall be elected from and run at large within each legislative district. The senate shall consist of forty-nine members, one of whom shall be elected from each legislative district.
(5) The commission shall exercise its powers to provide fair and effective representation and to encourage electoral competition. The commission's plan shall not be drawn purposely to favor or discriminate against any political party or group.
[1990 c 126 § 1; 1983 c 16 § 9.]