Now that the 2020 Census is complete, Pierce County must make changes to the boundaries of its seven Council districts to account for population changes over the last decade.
The goal is to have roughly the same population size within each council district, so Pierce County residents are fairly represented by an elected Council member.
Under state law, the new district boundaries must be complete by Dec. 31, 2021. Once the boundaries are approved, they go to the Pierce County Auditor’s Office so the elections division can make changes to the county’s 611 precincts. This all must be complete by May 2, 2022 – before candidate filing week.
The Pierce County Council took the first step in this process Sept. 7, 2021 with the appointment of four members to the Pierce County Districting Committee. Names were provided by the respective central committees of the major political parties for consideration and appointment by Council.
Composed of two members from each party, the districting committee is tasked with drawing and adopting a districting plan for the county. The four members will appoint a fifth member to serve as Chair of the committee.
Appointed members include:
- Sharon Hanek
- Justin Leighton
- Doug G. Richardson
- Joy Stanford
Once formed, the committee has 30 days to meet and appoint a districting master, who is the person responsible for drawing the redistricting plan. This person must be qualified by education, training, and experience to complete this work. Applications are currently being accepted for this position. The deadline to apply is 3 p.m., Sept. 16, 2021.
The districting master has 60 days to draw a districting plan, which must be submitted to the committee for adoption. The committee has 15 days to adopt the proposed plan. Once adopted, the plan will be filed with the filing officer and then it becomes effective.
Additional information about the redistricting process can be found online:
Pierce County Redistricting Page
RCW Chapter 29A.76 (Local redistricting laws)
Washington State Redistricting Commission