Making Democracy Work®
The League supports redistricting reform by 2031 that includes an updated commission, ongoing staff and technical support, process transparency, clearly defined rank criteria, an inclusive process for public input, and language accessibility. This will require a constitutional amendment to be adopted before 2031.
Redistricting Task Force Advocates
2031 Redistricting Reform Campaign
LWVWA is leading a multi-year, statewide campaign to reimagine and reform the Washington State redistricting process. In keeping with League positions and the current Protect Democracy campaign, LWVWA will plan and execute a campaign to reform the structure and procedures of the Washington State Redistricting Commission through a state constitutional amendment and statutory changes before the 2031 redistricting cycle
2024 FEB 23 —The Supreme Court of the United States has declined an appeal in the Soto Palmer v Hobbs decision. The remedial map drawing process continues with Plaintiffs drawing multiple versions of remedy maps. New maps will displace some sitting legislators from their current districts and cause as many as 300,000 voters to be moved to new districts. The final map will be drawn with assistance of a court appointed special master and is due on March 25, 2024. Click here for more detailed information about the leading map candidate in the Soto Palmer lawsuit.
2023 NOV 7 — The Governor and Legislative leadership declined to call the Legislature back in session to convene a new redistricting commission. And, despite a request for more time from Republican minority leadership, federal court Judge Lasnik has decided to move ahead with a process to hiring a special master who will assist the court in redrawing the lines. Remedial proposals are due to the court on December 1, 2023.
2023 AUG 10 — A federal court judge declared that Yakima Valley Legislative District 15 is discriminatory against Latino voters under the 1965 Voting Rights Act. District lines must be redrawn before the 2024 elections. Another lawsuit regarding a wrongful termination of a commission employee was settled in August 2023.
2023 MAY 7 — LWVWA adopts Redistricting Reform Campaign at State Convention to push for a state constitutional amendment and related statutory process changes to ensure a People First Commission.
2011 – 2023 JAN 14 Cycle — On 11/16/21, the 2021 Redistricting Commission passed the responsibility to decide the maps to the Courts but did end up producing maps they negotiated after the deadline. On 12/3/21, the Courts decided to accept these maps. On 2/8/22 The Legislature passed technical updates suggested by county auditors and election officials. On 2/23/22 The commission agreed on a settlement on two lawsuits that attested they did not follow the Open Public Meetings Act. 2022 Elections were held with the maps passed through the Legislature on 2/8/22. Printed maps are now available from the Legislative Information Center.
Washington State’s map-drawing process is outdated. Created in 1983, it no longer meets the needs of residents. There have been significant changes in demographics which demand expanded representation on the Commission. Moreover, the current process is broken.
The 2021 Washington State Redistricting Commission failed to create maps that represent the people. A good outreach process was muted. Commissioners worked behind closed doors in violation of the Open Public Meetings Act and rushed to approve incomplete maps. In fact, they missed the constitutionally mandated deadline. Incumbent protection and partisan interests biased district line decisions. The State Supreme Court let the maps stand despite the missed deadline. Since there was little time to perfect maps, even noncontroversial modifications were not made. The commission settled lawsuits for their lack of transparency and for illegally firing an employee.
In August 2023, a federal court judge declared that Yakima Valley Legislative District 15 is discriminatory against Latino residents under the 1965 Voting Rights Act. District lines must be redrawn before the 2024 elections.
The people of Washington State deserve better. We deserve an open and transparent process. We deserve district lines that best represent the people of the state and give us the best chance to elect the representatives of our choosing.
What Needs to Change
The People of Washington state deserve to be proud of our maps and the transparent, equitable, accessible mapping process. Full-scale redistricting reform includes:
Take Action: Our focus for 2024 is to increase the strength of our support network. We want to add 1000 people to our mailing list in 2024. We can’t do this without you.