State Commission begins the process to redraw legislative and congressional districts in Washington

Thursday, August 19, 2021

In 2010, all of Shoreline ended up in one
district but included a section of northwest
Seattle, Woodway, part of Edmonds, some
of Lynnwood, and a few blocks of
Mountlake Terrace. Map from Wikipedia
Every ten years, after the census, the Washington State Redistricting Committee redraws all the legislative and congressional maps. 

It's a challenging process and cities outside of Seattle lobby hard to end up in the same district, something which is not always possible. 

Another goal is to keep from having districts cross the mountains so people and representatives don't have to cross a mountain pass in winter to attend a district event.

With the 2020 Redistricting Data (Public Law 94-171) Summary Files from the U.S. Census Bureau now in hand, the Washington State Redistricting Commission (WSRC) met on Monday, August 16, 2021 and agreed to a schedule of important dates and deadlines that will lead to the delivery of final legislative and congressional district maps by Monday, November 15.

“After having received the official data from the Census Bureau, we knew it would be important to settle on additional dates that will govern our processes so the public knows what they can expect from their redistricting commission as it moves towards the final deadline,” said Commission Chair Sarah Augustine. 
“Due to delays related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the timeline is compressed in a way that leaves us less than three months to develop and publicize draft maps, receive public feedback, and agree on final maps.”

Important dates to note:
  • End of August – DrawYourWA mapping tool will be live with the official Census Bureau redistricting data and the state’s adjusted data based on relocation of persons in state custody to their last known address for purposes of redistricting. We will inform the public as soon as the data has been uploaded.
  • Tuesday, September 21 – Commissioners will each release their proposed state legislative district map.
  • Tuesday, September 28 – Commissioners will each release their proposed congressional district map.
  • Tuesday, October 5 (7 p.m.) – Statewide Virtual Public Outreach Meeting to receive feedback on state legislative map proposals.
  • Saturday, October 9 (10 a.m.) - Statewide Virtual Public Outreach Meeting to receive feedback on congressional map proposals.
  • Friday, October 22 – Deadline to ensure full consideration of third-party map submissions by the Commission.
  • Monday, November 15 (11:59 p.m.) – Deadline for Commission to submit final maps to the Legislature.

The PL 94-171 data, originally expected by April 1, 2021, was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

By law, Washington state uses the PL data to draft new legislative and congressional district maps that will apply to elections over the next decade. The law also directs the Redistricting Commission to relocate individuals in state custody to their last known address for purposes of redistricting.

Data experts are currently unpacking the data so that it can be uploaded to the mapping system that the commissioners will use to draft maps. The same data will be available for those who wish to use the DrawYourWA mapping tool to draft and send third-party map submissions for the commission’s consideration.

For the first time, the public can log on to a mapping tool found at and draft their own visions of what our legislative and congressional districts should look like,” Augustine said. “We look forward to seeing how the people of Washington think their districts should be drawn with the official data.”

Given the compressed timeline for drafting and negotiating legislative and congressional district maps, the commission suggests that those submitting third-party maps do so by October 22 so that commissioners have enough time to review and consider the submissions. Despite the suggested deadline, the public will be able to send their comments regarding the WSRC’s work right up to November 15 using one of many methods found at the “How to Participate” page on the WSRC website.

You can find more information about the Washington State Redistricting Commissionat our website. You can watch our meetings live and recorded on TVW or YouTube. Find us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Sign up here to receive press releases and media advisories.


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