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April 7, 1972
Honorable Thomas A. Swayze, Jr.
Speaker, House of Representatives
Route 2, Box 2255B
Gig Harbor, Washington 98335 Cite as: AGLO 1972 No. 21 (not official)
We are in receipt of your letter dated April 3, 1972, requesting an informal opinion from this office with regard to the establishment of residential qualifications for purposes of election to the Washington state legislature.
The governing law with regard to this question is contained in Article II, § 7 of the Washington constitution, which sets forth the basic qualifications of eligibility for election to the state legislature as follows:
"No person shall be eligible to the legislature who shall not be a citizen of the United States and a qualified voter in the district for which he is chosen."
In the case of DeFilipis v. Russell, 52 Wn.2d 745, 328 P.2d 904 (1958), the Washington court held that these qualifications must be met at the time the prospective legislator files his declaration of candidacy under the provisions of RCW 29.18.030. Accordingly, the court held that at the time of filing his declaration of candidacy a person seeking election to a legislative office must both reside within the legislative district he seeks to be elected from and be a registered voter in that district.
We trust that the foregoing will be of some assistance to you.
Very truly yours,
Philip H. Austin
Deputy Attorney General