Slay the Dragon Logo

SLAY THE DRAGON follows everyday people, outraged by what they see as an attack on the core democratic principle that every person’s vote should count equally. This election year, we’re joining together with grassroots partners to put an end to gerrymandering. Because this issue impacts each state differently, we’ve created a map to help you navigate how gerrymandering affects your state and community. SLAY THE DRAGON arrives on demand April 3.

 

GET CAUGHT UP

Click on your state in the map above to find out what’s going on and how you can help.

We are partnering with organizations in Michigan, Colorado, Wisconsin to support the creation of non-partisan redistricting commissions to protect votes across the country.

us map

Click on your state in the map above to find out what’s going on and how you can help.

We are partnering with organizations in Michigan, Colorado, Wisconsin to support the creation of non-partisan redistricting commissions to protect votes across the country.

Slay the Dragon Logo

SLAY THE DRAGON follows everyday people, outraged by what they see as an attack on the core democratic principle that every person’s vote should count equally. This election year, we’re joining together with grassroots partners to put an end to gerrymandering. Because this issue impacts each state differently, we’ve created a map to help you navigate how gerrymandering affects your state and community. SLAY THE DRAGON arrives on demand April 3.

 

GET CAUGHT UP

Click on your state in the map above to find out what’s going on and how you can help.

We are partnering with organizations in Michigan, Colorado, Wisconsin to support the creation of non-partisan redistricting commissions to protect votes across the country.

us map

Click on your state in the map above to find out what’s going on and how you can help.

We are partnering with organizations in Michigan, Colorado, Wisconsin to support the creation of non-partisan redistricting commissions to protect votes across the country.

Washington

Process

Politician-Appointed Redistricting Commission

Washington's state legislative and congressional districts are drawn by a five-member Redistricting Commission. The first four members are selected by the four legislative leaders, and they collectively select a fifth non-voting member who serves as chair. The redistricting commission submits its plans to the Legislature, which may amend them if two-thirds of each house approves the amendment within thirty days.

Criteria

In addition to the federal requirements of one person, one vote and the Voting Rights Act, Washington’s state constitution (Art. II §§ 6, 43) requires that state legislative and congressional districts be compact and contiguous, and prohibits favoring or discriminating against any political party or group. Washington’s state statutes (Code § 44.05.090) also require that districts preserve political subdivisions, preserve communities of interest, and be drawn to promote competitiveness.

In 2019, Washington passed SB 5287 ending the practice of prison gerrymandering and reassigning currently incarcerated populations to their last-known place of residence for the purpose of redistricting.

Public Input

Washington’s state statutes (Code § 44.05.080) require the commission to hold public meetings and preserve its records, as well as publish a report with the final plan that includes explanations of the criteria used. In the last redistricting cycle, the commission also held eighteen public forums between May and August 2011. It is likely that there will be similar opportunities for public input in 2021.

Issues

Pitfalls

Washington has significant Asian, Latino, African-American, and Native American populations, raising concerns of fair representation under the Voting Rights Act and the Constitution. In the last redistricting cycle, a number of advocacy groups, activists, and citizens pushed for the creation of Washington’s first majority-minority district in order to achieve more representation for growing communities of color.

Census Delays

  • Commission state legislative and congressional plans deadline: November 15, 2021 (Code § 44.05.100)
  • Legislative amendment to Commission’s plans deadline: December 15, 2021
  • Backup plans by state Supreme Court deadline: April 30, 2022

The Census Bureau may delay sending population data to states until as late as July 31, 2021. In the case of delay, Washington will be under a constrained timeline, but should still be able to meet all existing deadlines.

Reform

A bill, HB2575, was introduced to improve the Washington commission's public hearing and transparency requirements. This bill passed through the state House 57-41, but died in committee upon the Legislature's adjournment.

  • This bill sought to improve the public input and transparency requirements for Washington's independent commission process. For public input, this bill would have required two rounds of public hearings: ten before a preliminary plan is drawn and ten after. At least one hearing would have been held per congressional district, set up with technology to allow for virtual participation.
  • On the transparency side, this bill would have required that the commission release a preliminary plan 30 days before starting the second round of public hearings. After these hearings, it also would have to release a "reasonably final plan at least seven days before final approval" and a report with detailed information about each plan.
  • Lastly, this bill would have required the creation of a website for the commission to disseminate information about the commission and its schedule. This website would have served as a repository for commission meeting documents, transcripts, and video archives, draft plans, and redistricting data, as well as a place for the public to submit comments and map proposals.

Actions

In 2021, participate in the Commission’s public input process.

  • Obtain Washington redistricting data from OpenPrecincts.
  • Start to plan out what defines your community – whether it’s a shared economic interest, school districts, or other social or other cultural, historical, or economic interests – and how that can be represented on a map. This will come in handy once the commission starts collecting feedback.
  • Use software tools such as Dave's Redistricting App and Districtr to draw district maps showing either (a) what a fair map would look like, or (b) where the community you believe should be better represented is located.

Contacts

Princeton Gerrymandering Project Data provided by the Princeton Gerrymandering Project

State Info

Congressional Boundaries: Drawn by independent redistricting commission
State Boundaries: Drawn by independent redistricting commission
Legislative Control: Democratic
Governor's Political Party: Democratic
Last Updated: Oct 13 2020