Posted August 3, 2022
Sponsored by: Board of County Commissioners Department
Community invited to weigh in on Commissioner District redrawing process
Washington County is redrawing the boundaries of its four Board of Commissioner Districts based on the results of the population changes from the 2020 census.
On July 12, 2022, Board of County Commissioners reached an agreement to share with the public five options for the community to weigh in on how district boundaries should be redrawn. Working with Portland State University (PSU), the county has drawn the proposed options to ensure that each district is approximately the same population. An online mapping tool showing the current and proposed boundary options is available at this link, enter an address to see the overlay of each proposal.
Why do the boundaries need to be realigned?
Every 10 years, Washington County must consider redrawing the boundary lines for county commissioner districts to make sure that everyone’s vote has the same value. If one district becomes bigger than the others, the votes in that district are diluted relative to the others. The 2020 census showed that district 2 has grown more than the other districts, so the county needs to make district 2 smaller and the others bigger. The county is asking Washington County community members to participate and share their preferences for how they would like to see the commissioner districts realigned so that each includes about the same number of people.
At the end of this process, the population of the newly redrawn districts must not be more than 103% of any other. Under the Washington County Charter, this process must start as soon as the Oregon Legislature has finished a similar process of redrawing state legislative district lines.
Earlier this year, the Board of County Commissioners asked Portland State University’s Population Research Center to provide recommended options for changing the commissioner district boundary lines.
The new district boundaries that emerge from the process would take effect in time for the 2024 election cycle.
Community input needed for redrawing boundaries
Washington County is also inviting the public to participate in the reapportionment process of commissioner districts through a series of community engagement opportunities including an online survey.
To review the options for redrawing commissioner districts, go here. Then take the online survey and share your feedback by September 9, 2022. For English click here and for Spanish click here.
To learn more about the reapportionment process and updates visit us online at: https://www.co.washington.or.us/reapportionment