This process is completely independent of efforts to redistrict legislative and congressional boundaries in our County. For information regarding those efforts, please visit the Draw Your WA website at www.redistricting.wa.gov.
Kitsap County includes three Commissioner Districts. District 1 is located in North Kitsap, District 2 is split between South Kitsap and Bremerton and District 3 is split between Central Kitsap and Bremerton.
Kitsap County is required by Washington State RCW 29A.76.010 to update their commissioner district voting districts to reflect the results of each decennial census (2020). This update is intended to ensure the commissioner districts meet specific criteria:
Each district shall be nearly equal in population as possible.Each district shall be as compact as possible (avoid unusual irregular boundaries).Each district shall consist of geographically-contiguous area (no islands).Each district shall not be configured in a way as to disfavor any racial group or political party.Each district shall consider natural boundaries and preserve existing communities, as feasible.
Washington State received the 2020 census data in August and transmitted it to Kitsap for our use. To ensure successful execution of the 2022 elections by the County Auditor, the Board of Commissioners must approve a redistricting plan by the end of December.
This timeline is usually much longer (more than a year) but due to delays at the federal level regarding the release of census data and the transmission from the state, we have a much more truncated process.
To complete this project, Policy staff will coordinate with the Auditor's Office to apply the results of the 2020 Census to the Kitsap County Commissioner Districts and follow the process and schedule shown below.
The project would require a series of steps to be completed through December 2021:
Assess existing Commissioner District boundaries for population equality - SeptemberHold public presentations regarding the process - September and OctoberDevelop alternatives for potential revisions based upon the state criteria - OctoberRelease of Draft Alternatives to the public for comment - Late OctoberHold a Public Open House to discuss the alternatives – November 3, 2021 6:00Hold a public hearing before the Board of Commissioners - November 22, 2021Board Deliberations and Approval - December 13, 2021
Public participation will be somewhat limited due to the 75% reduction in timeline. We will provide the following avenues for public information and participation.
Discussions with political parties, cities and community groups. Presentation to the Central Kitsap Community Council as any District 1/3 boundary would directly affect their community.Public release and distribution of redistricting alternatives.Public Open House (Zoom) to present redistricting alternatives.
The current presentation is linked here.
Throughout the process, the County will maintain a webpage as a clearinghouse for all information regarding the project. Updates will be regularly distributed via social media, press releases, listservs and other methods.
Based upon a preliminary review of the 2020 Census data, there is only a 3.5% population difference between District 2 and 3 with District 1 falling in between. The numbers are as follows:
District 1 = 91,111District 2 = 93,885District 3 = 90,615
While not a significant difference, this may require revisions to the boundaries to reduce this disparity.