Ericksen says redistricting plans that cut up Whatcom County violate both state law and the Washington State Constitution

Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, said the redistricting plans presented by Dean Foster and Tim Ceis on Tuesday violate the “communities of interest” requirement in state law (RCW 44.05) and the Washington State Constitution, Art. 2, Sec. 43 (5).

The plans, which can be viewed at online at http://www.redistricting.wa.gov/maps.asp, put the Whatcom County communities of Nooksack, Everson and Sumas in a huge district running south through Skagit and Snohomish counties and into King County.

“The citizens in these Whatcom County cities could end up with legislators who live in King County. This makes no sense,” Ericksen said. “These plans are unprecedented departures from the guiding principles of the Redistricting Commission of keeping communities of interest together, keeping districts compact and convenient, and keeping the division of counties as small as possible. Whatcom County should remain whole.”

Ultimately, at least three of the four commissioners must decide on a final plan, which is expected to be announced at the commission’s Nov. 8 meeting.  Information on how citizens may comment on the proposed plans may be found online at: http://redistricting.wa.gov/contact.asp.

The general commission website is: http://www.redistricting.wa.gov/.