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Washington County board adopts reapportionment ordinance, redrawing new district boundaries

Washington County Board of Commissioners adopt ordinance to change boundaries of commissioner districts following a 10-month reapportionment process.
Media release

On November 29th, the Washington County Board of Commissioners adopted new boundaries for commissioner districts through Ordinance 893 in a four to zero vote following a public hearing. The reapportionment change will take effect on December 28, 2022, which is in time for candidates for district commissioners to apply for the 2024 election.

After a 10-month process of gathering input from the community and researching different proposals, the board agreed to new commissioner district boundary lines where:

a. The redrawn districts achieve the goal of approximately equal population distribution, resolve the unequal population distribution revealed by the 2020 census and are designed to minimize disparities over time as population increases continue,

b. The boundaries generally are easily recognizable and logical,

c. The division of communities of common interest is minimized, recognizing that it is not practicable to avoid all divisions; and

d. Voting strength by race and ethnicity is preserved.

The board reviewed the recommendations from the Population Research Center at Portland State University, public comment and staff when adopting the plan to the redraw commissioner district boundaries and as mandated by the County’s Charter.

Under the Washington County Charter, the board is required to reapportion commissioner districts, if after the decennial census any one district has a population that is more than 105% of the population of any other district. The 2020 census revealed that District 2 exceeds this metric; therefore, the Board is required to reapportion the Commissioner Districts.

On July 12, 2022, the Board approved five options, prepared by the Portland State University Population Research Center, to be presented to the community for additional input. Staff worked with Espousal Strategies LLC, community partners and leaders to engage our community regarding proposal preferences.

On September 27th, 2022, staff shared the Washington County Reapportionment Community Engagement final report and the Patinkin Research Strategies Online Reapportionment study. After considering the community feedback the board requested proposal 4 and 5 be brought forward for consideration.

On October 18th, 2022, the Board directed staff to bring back an ordinance based on Proposal 5.

On November 1, 2022, the Board conducted a first reading of Ordinance 893 and continued for a second reading and public hearing on November 29th, 2022. More information on the reapportionment process is available at

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Silvia Pereida
Public Relations and Communications Coordinator