The Washington State Redistricting Commission (WSRC) has rolled out the first phase of a publicly available mapping tool.
The mapping tool allows for the mapping of state legislative and congressional districts using population estimates from the Washington State Office of Financial Management (OFM). The OFM data are the most accurate population estimates available. However, they are not the official census data the WSRC will use to draw maps this Fall. The official Census data is not available until mid-August.
“We’re excited to be the first redistricting commission in our state’s history to offer this level of technology to residents across Washington,” said WSRC Chair Sarah Augustine. “We look forward to launching Phase Two when the official redistricting data from the Census Bureau becomes available. That is when people will be able to submit formal maps to the commission for consideration.”
The mapping software allows drafting of maps at the same level of detail available to the commissioners. We release the tool now, without official data, so residents of Washington state can learn how the tool works and become familiar with population trends. Once the official data is released, the public will be able to use the tool to create formal map submissions.
The WSRC will inform the public once the official Census data has been added to the mapping site. The expectation is that this announcement will come in late August or early September.