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Redistricting Commission seeks final public input Oct. 11

The Washington State Redistricting Commission will hear public comment on the commissioners' draft legislative and congressional redistricting plans, following their regular meeting in Olympia on Tuesday, Oct. 11.

The draft plans were released to the public Sept. 13 and have been available for study and comment on the commission's website for the past month.

"Since the plans were made public, we've received lots of comment through our website," said Lura Powell, commission chair. "But not everyone is comfortable with giving us input in that way, so we're offering this public meeting to provide other ways for people to participate. People can attend in person and comment to us directly, or they can phone in, or write in via the internet and I'll read their comments to the audience."

The commission meeting begins at 10:30 a.m. with a discussion of commission business, followed by public comment.

People may participate in the meeting in one of three ways:

• Attend in person. Senate Hearing Room 4, John A. Cherberg Building, 304 15th Ave., Capitol Campus, Olympia

• Watch on public TV, phone in comments. The public forum will be broadcast live by TVW, the state's non-profit, public access, governmental affairs television network. Check local listings for the channel in your area. Phone 800-980-1604 to participate.

• Attend by webcast. TVW will webcast the forum live. You can send your comments to the commissioners via the webcast portal on the commission's website: www.redistricting.wa.gov. Click on the TVW screen to the left of the homepage and follow the directions for joining the webcast and for commenting. Powell will read the comments aloud in the order they are received.

If you plan to participate in the meeting and need auxiliary aids or services, including language interpretation, contact Heather Boe at 360-786-0770, or e-mail heather.boe@redistricting.wa.gov.

Following the meeting, the commissioners will begin negotiating a final redistricting plan. They have set a goal of early November for completing the final plan.

Washington voters established the Washington State Redistricting Commission in 1983 to ensure voting boundaries are established through a fair and bipartisan process. The Commission includes two Democrats and two Republicans as voting members and a non-voting, nonpartisan chair. Lura Powell, from Richland, serves as the Commission chair. Democratic appointees to the Commission are Tim Ceis, Seattle; and Dean Foster, Olympia. Republican members are former U.S. Sen. Slade Gorton, Bellevue; and Tom Huff, Gig Harbor.

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