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Photo of the 2001 Redistricting Commission 2000 and Beyond
Major Years:2001; Major Players:Redistricting Commission, The Attorney General

The experience of the 2001 Redistricting Commission, which was appointed to carry out Washington's most recent redistricting effort, was similar to the 1991 commission. Commissioners Richard Derham, Dean Foster, John Giese, and Bobbi Krebs-McMullen and commission chair Graham Johnson held hearings throughout the state. The process was not without its tense moments, especially over congressional redistricting. The commission missed its statutory deadline, but did pass a plan before the constitutional deadline. At the request of Attorney General Christine Gregoire, Governor Gary Locke signed legislation that amended the statutory deadline and allowed retroactive passage of the commission's plan. As Governor Locke explained, "What the commission did was a very good piece of work. . .(it) complied with the spirit and the requirements of our state constitution, and so there's no reason to have this revised and reopened and completely redone."

Washington's experience since the beginning of statehood has shown that redistricting is always contentious and difficult, no matter who takes charge. The voters, the Legislature and the courts have all had a hand in developing and refining the process that is now carried out both quickly and effectively by the Washington State Redistricting Commission.