Comprehensive Statewide Redistricting Reform Needed
Karen Crowley | Published on 2/4/2023
The Washington State redistricting process needs to be changed. The Snohomish County League of Women Voters has signed a letter of support to encourage the statewide League (LWVWA) to plan and execute a campaign to reform the structure and procedures of the Washington State Redistricting Commission. We seek a state constitutional amendment and statutory changes before the 2031 redistricting cycle.
In 2021 the Washington State Redistricting Commission failed to create maps that represent the people. A good outreach process was muted. Partisan interests prevailed behind closed doors, resulting in Commissioners rushing to approve maps they had barely seen. Incumbent protection and partisan tradeoffs dominated district line decisions. The State Supreme Court let the negotiated maps stand, and since there was little time to perfect maps, even noncontroversial modifications were not done.
The people of Washington State deserve better. We deserve the district lines that best represent the people of the state and give us the best chance to elect the representative of our choosing.
We have committed to the following actions here in Snohomish County – all consistent with our current Program of Work:
1. Select a representative to join the State Redistricting Task Force.
2. Identify a committee to manage local redistricting campaign activities.
3. Support and participate in a statewide “Defend Democracy” survey in our local area.
4. Build relationships with legislators and make them aware of the League’s objective.
5. Build relationships with local organizations that will also support redistricting reform.
6. Create local districting events in cities and counties to educate residents and push for any needed reforms.
It is anticipated that this topic will be discussed at the LWVWA State Convention this May, and we are hopeful that there will be support for a multi-year campaign.