Washington State's Legislative and Congressional district boundaries are redrawn
every 10 years following the United States Census. The Office of the Secretary of
State helps the U.S. Census Bureau prepare for the census.
It also assists the Washington State Redistricting Commission prepare for redistricting,
the process of adjusting district boundaries to reflect changes in population.
The Redistricting Program was formed in the Office of the Secretary of State in
summer 2007 and transferred to the Legislature in summer 2010. The Redistricting
Program provides detailed maps and data of all 6,600 voting precincts in Washington
to the U.S. Census Bureau to facilitate a more accurate census. The Census Bureau
uses these precinct lines to compile the population and demographic data gathered
in the 2010 Census for each precinct in the state.
The Redistricting Program assembled election-related data by voting precinct
for most state ballot measures, and statewide, congressional, and legislative races
from 2004 to current day. Because precinct boundaries change over time, the Redistricting
Program must also reproduce the precinct boundaries that correspond to past election
cycles. This is to ensure the geographic shape of each precinct matches the electoral
results for that precinct. This data will be used by the Washington State Redistricting
Commission to redraw the state's legislative and congressional district boundaries
Redistricting responsibilities transferred to the Washington State Redistricting Commission
in January 2011. The Washington State Redistricting Commission
is appointed by the Legislature and made up of four voting members and a nonvoting
The Redistricting Commission must present new Legislative and Congressional District
boundaries to the Legislature for approval during the 2012 legislative session.
The new boundaries will be in effect for the 2012 elections and thereafter. When
redistricting is completed, the commission's duties are complete and it disbands.
In 2021, a new commission will be appointed to ensure that Washington residents
are fairly represented in congress and the state legislature.