After failing to submit a final mapping plan by the statutory deadline, the Washington State Redistricting Commission (WSRC) has published the state legislative and congressional district mapping plan that won consensus among the voting members of the Commission.
“While we acknowledge we missed the deadline for our maps to be considered by the Legislature, we see no reason why the Court can’t do so,” said Commission Chair Sarah Augustine. “These maps reflect the input of the thousands of people who took part in the process with us. It would be a shame to see these maps go unconsidered simply because the clock struck 12.”
The Commission sent a copy of the final mapping plan along with a transmittal letter and resolution to the Supreme Court today (Nov. 16). The plan won Commission support but was not completed in the time prescribed by law thereby giving jurisdiction over the process to the Court.
“These maps were created in a bipartisan process with unprecedented public input and resulted in the doubling of minority-majority districts, greater consolidation of cities, counties and communities of interest, and full consideration of the eight Tribes with which the commission consulted,” Augustine said. “The WSRC staff and I are at the disposal of the court for anything they may require as it assumes responsibility for this important task.”
Under the leadership of the most diverse Commission ever appointed, staff executed a public outreach campaign to solicit the people for their input into the mapping process and its outcomes. Between public commentary at 17 public outreach meetings and 22 business meetings, more than 400 state residents delivered live public testimony about maps or about the Commission’s processes.
Commissioners received more than 2,750 comments on their draft maps or on the old maps, and more than 3,000 sent an email, commented through the website form, mailed a letter, or left a voicemail. Finally, utilizing a mapping tool made available to the public on the Commission’s website, 1,300 maps were created, of which 12 were formally submitted as third-party maps.
This level of public involvement was historic, and the WSRC thanks all those who took the time and energy to engage with redistricting process. The public’s contribution to this process brought great value and helped guide much of the final plan.
The late release of the 2020 census data combined with technical challenges hampered the commission’s work considerably.
Pursuant to RCW 44.05.100, the Supreme Court now has jurisdiction to adopt a districting plan. The commissioners have every faith that the Supreme Court will draw maps that are fair and worthy of the people of Washington.”