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Changes ahead for Washington state’s political landscape: Redistricting may bring some drama

By January 4, 2021February 13th, 2021News


Washington will neither gain nor lose clout in Congress as the once-a-decade reapportionment of the 435 seats in the United States House of Representatives plays out this year.

Due to population booms, seven states, led by Texas and Florida, are expected to gain House seats, while 10 stand to lose seats, including California for the first time, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Brookings Institution.

But Washington is projected to stand pat, with 10 House seats.

That could take some of the drama out of the state’s 2021 redistricting process, set to begin this month. Unlike a decade ago, when the state was awarded an additional House seat, there will be no need to drastically redraw political boundaries to squeeze in a new district.

Still, political flashpoints loom as Republicans and Democrats prepare to hash out new maps for the state’s 10 congressional and 49 legislative districts, a process controlled by a bipartisan redistricting commission.

A multiracial coalition is demanding the next round of maps stop dividing the Yakama and Colville Indian nations and provide more electoral power to communities of color. Some reformers say the political parties should be removed from the redistricting process entirely.

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