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The 1960s: 1965

Finally a Redistricting Plan

No major court rulings or initiative drives caused controversy, but 1965 was still a tumultuous year in the redistricting process. Under court order to redistrict before passing any other measures, the Washington Legislature was effectively barred from performing its essential functions as a legislative body. As the days ticked by in the session with no new bills passed, members grew more and more frustrated. Voter frustration was also increasingly apparent, as a solution to the reapportionment stalemate was nearly four years overdue.

After forty-seven days of debate, discussion, compromise, and open hostility, the Legislature finally passed a redistricting plan. The measure called for forty-nine senatorial districts, with one member elected from each district, and fifty-six legislative districts. One large district, the 42nd, could elect three representatives, forty-one districts were allowed two representatives, and fourteen could have one, for a total of ninety-nine representatives in the House.

The compromise resolution to a struggle that had begun in 1956 was not without its problems. The District Court ruled that the plan was satisfactory, but cautioned that the state would need to begin the whole process again after the release of the 1970 census figures.


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1964 1970s