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AGO 1952 No. 359 - August 01, 1952
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Smith Troy | 1941-1952 | Attorney General of Washington

PERSONS ENTITLED TO VOTE IN A SPECIAL ELECTION TO ESTABLISH A NEW SCHOOL DISTRICT TO BE COMPOSED ONLY OF A PORTION OF AN ALREADY EXISTING DISTRICT

Voters residing within the territory of the proposed new district compose the electorate entitled to vote to establish a new school district.

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                                                                  August 1, 1952

Honorable Pearl A Wanamaker
State Superintendent of Public Instructions
Old Capitol Building
Olympia, WashingtoAGO 51-53 No. 359n                                                                                                                                                 Cite as: 

Attention:  Mr. G. W. Van Horn

Dear Madam:

            On July 16, 1952, this office received a request from you for an opinion on the following question:

            "Who shall be entitled to vote in an election to establish a new school district to be composed only of a portion of an already existing district?"

            Our conclusion is as follows:

            The voters residing within the territory of the proposed new district are the electorate entitled to vote to establish a new school district.

                                                                     ANALYSIS

            Section 1, chapter 87, Laws of 1951, RCW 28.57.070 reads in part as follows:

            "In case the aforesaid approval by the county committee concerns a proposal to form a new school district or a proposal for adjustment of bonded  [[Orig. Op. Page 2]] indebtedness involving an established school district and one or more former school districts now included therein pursuant to a vote of the people concerned, a special election of the voters residing within the territory of the proposed new district or of the established district involved in a proposal for adjustment of bonded indebtedness as the case may be shall be held for the purpose of affording said voters an opportunity to approve or reject such proposals as concern or affect them."

            The above quoted part of this statute concerns two separate proposals; the first of which concerns a proposal to form a new school district and the second a proposal for adjustment of bonded indebtedness.  The statute then concerns itself with the voters who may vote as to each of these two proposals and referring to the first proposal provides that the voters residing within the territory of the proposed new district are qualified to vote in the special election.

            The Supreme Court of the State of Washington has not directly passed on the problem presented.  However, inState ex rel. Winters v. Steele, 37 Wn. (2d) 434, 441, 224 P. (2d) 332, our court by way of dictum referred to the statute in question and interpreted the statute as follows:

            "* * * If the county committee approves a proposal concerning the formation of a new school district, a special election of the voters residing within the territory of the proposed new district is held for the purpose of affording the voters an opportunity to approve or reject such proposal. * * *"

Very truly yours,

SMITH TROY
Attorney General

ELLIS P. COLLINS
Assistant Attorney General

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