WA redistricting process begins Monday

By on Sunday, August 15th, 2021 in Columbia Basin News More Top Stories

OLYMPIA — The U.S. Census Bureau has released the 2020 Census state redistricting data summary files and Washingtonians are invited to attend a Washington State Redistricting Commission business meeting Monday at 7 p.m. to learn what comes next.

Every 10 years, after the federal government publishes updated census information as it did last week, states redraw the boundaries of their congressional and state legislative electoral districts to ensure that each district represents an equal number of residents as communities and populations change over time.

A bipartisan Washington State Redistricting Commission is also established for the purpose of redrawing legislative and congressional district boundaries. The commission consists of two Republican and two Democrat legislators. Those four then appoint a chairperson to oversee the meetings. The chairperson does not have a vote. The commission must draw the district lines in conformity with strict, nonpartisan rules designed to create districts of relatively equal population that will provide fair representation for all Washingtonians.

The commission has until Nov. 15 to draw up new political boundaries for the congressional and legislative districts using 2020 Census data. At least three of four members must agree to the maps. The Washington Legislature can make only minor changes to the commission maps and the governor has no role in the process.

Individuals wishing to provide public comment during the meeting may do so. To learn more about tonight’s Washington State Redistricting Commission business meeting, register for public comment or register for the webinar, visit https://www.redistricting.wa.gov/commission-meetings