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.
What’s going on in Washington
Washington's state legislative and congressional districts are drawn by an Independent Redistricting Commission.
In addition to the federal requirements of one person, one vote and the Voting Rights Act, Washington law requires that state legislative and congressional districts be compact, contiguous, preserve political subdivisions, preserve communities of interest, and be drawn to promote competitiveness. Intentionally favoring or disfavoring a party or group is prohibited.
Washington has a significant Asian, Latino, African-American, and Native American populations, raising concerns of fair representation under the Voting Rights Act and the Constitution.
A bill, HB2575, was introduced to improve the Washington commission's public hearing and transparency requirements. This bill has already 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 has been drawn and ten after. At least one hearing would have been held per congressional district, and the commission would have had to set up "technology that allows for real-time virtual participation and feedback for all meetings." It also would have required that the meetings were scheduled to maximize the public's ability to attend.
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 had to release a "reasonably final plan at least seven days before final approval." Additionally, the commission would have had to release 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 also served as a repository for commission meeting documents, meeting transcripts/video archives, draft plans, and redistricting data. The commission would have been required to accept public comments and map submissions through the website.
In 2021, participate in the commission's public comment process.
Obtain Washington redistricting data from OpenPrecincts.
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.
Submit these maps to the Commission as a public comment.