WA State Redistricting Commission – Maps & Meetings

Redistricting only happens once a decade – and we’re in the thick of it right now! The four Voting Commissioners (two Democratic and two Republican) have already released their proposed legislative maps and will also release their Congressional maps on Sept 28. The interactive viewing tool for each Commissioner’s legislative map is easy to use and enables you to see where lines for the future 45th might be – and whether you would even still be in the 45th!

Here are some key dates for you to get involved in the redistricting process…

  • September 28 – Commissioners will each release their proposed Congressional district map.
  • October 5 @ 7pm – Statewide Virtual Public Outreach Meeting to receive feedback on state legislative map proposals. Pre-register for public comment.
  • October 9@ 10am – Statewide Virtual Public Outreach Meeting to receive feedback on congressional map proposals. Pre-register for public comment.
  • October 22 – Deadline to ensure full consideration of third-party map submissions by the Commission.
  • November 15 @ 11:59pm – Deadline for Commission to submit final maps to the Legislature.

WA Dem Party Chair Tina Podlodowski comment on redistricting map proposals

Washington State Democratic Party Chair Tina Podlodowski offered the following statement on the legislative district maps proposed today by the state Redistricting Commission:

“We appreciate the hard work of the Redistricting Commissioners to draft the map proposals presented today. It’s disappointing that the Republican commissioners apparently decided not to follow the direction of the law and the mission of the Redistricting Commission. The GOP has drawn effectively non-contiguous maps and have prioritized their own political and electoral objectives above the mission of the Commission as actually defined in the RCW.

“There’s nothing in the RCW about valuing ‘competitiveness’ – the job of the Commission is to respect communities of interest, public comment, municipalities and counties, and not the GOP’s political objectives. If anything, sub-section 5 of the relevant RCW could forbid what the Republicans are attempting.

“Maps that don’t follow the statute aren’t pursuing competitiveness, they’re gerrymandering. The GOP commissioners should go back to the drawing board and try producing maps that respect the law.”

Below are the RCW instructions to the Redistricting Commission, with more detail here

RCW 44.05.090
Redistricting plan

In the redistricting plan:

(1) Districts shall have a population as nearly equal as is practicable, excluding nonresident military personnel, based on the population reported in the federal decennial census as adjusted by RCW 44.05.140.

(2) To the extent consistent with subsection (1) of this section the commission plan should, insofar as practical, accomplish the following:
(a) District lines should be drawn so as to coincide with the boundaries of local political subdivisions and areas recognized as communities of interest. The number of counties and municipalities divided among more than one district should be as small as possible;
(b) Districts should be composed of convenient, contiguous, and compact territory. Land areas may be deemed contiguous if they share a common land border or are connected by a ferry, highway, bridge, or tunnel. Areas separated by geographical boundaries or artificial barriers that prevent transportation within a district should not be deemed contiguous; and
(c) Whenever practicable, a precinct shall be wholly within a single legislative district.

(3) The commission’s plan and any plan adopted by the supreme court under RCW 44.05.100(4) shall provide for forty-nine legislative districts.

(4) The house of representatives shall consist of ninety-eight members, two of whom shall be elected from and run at large within each legislative district. The senate shall consist of forty-nine members, one of whom shall be elected from each legislative district.

(5) The commission shall exercise its powers to provide fair and effective representation and to encourage electoral competition. The commission’s plan shall not be drawn purposely to favor or discriminate against any political party or group.