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The 1950s: 1954

Proposed Legislative Initiative

The Washington State Constitution mandated reapportionment every ten years, but legislators had repeatedly dragged their feet or blocked proposals after waging highly partisan battles. When more than two decades passed with no substantial change, members of the League of Women Voters decided to focus on methods of resolving the stalemate. They formed a study group and published a pamphlet on redistricting in 1954.

The League initially supported a proposal made by State Senator Wilbur Hallauer, who wanted to transfer apportionment power to a special redistricting commission. Hallauer advocated an initiative to the Legislature as a means of establishing the new commission, but questions quickly arose about the constitutionality of this unusual procedure.

The Legislative Council stepped in and passed a resolution that created a bipartisan committee to carry out reapportionment, but this approach also failed. The League of Women Voters then decided it was time to develop its own redistricting initiative.


Newspaper Articles
1950s 1956