Clallam County seeking applicants for districting commission

The Board of Clallam County Commissioners announced last week it is seeking applications from interested citizens for appointment to the Clallam County Districting Commission.

The five-member districting commission will be formed in 2021 to re-draw district lines based on the results of the 2020 U.S. Census, county commissioner Mark Ozias said in October.

Commissioner districts are divided by north-sound borders in Clallam County. They are adjusted every 10 years based on the census.

The commission will meet within 15 days after appointment. Clallam County will then hire a districting master to work with the districting commission and make recommendations for new boundaries.

Appointments are made by district — District 1 (Sequim), District 2 (Port Angeles) and District 3 (West End)— along with one member each from the Democratic Republican parties.

Members of the commission serve without compensation but are reimbursed for expenses.

Interested citizens are invited to complete a Board and Committee application available online at www.clallam.net/boards/index.html. Applications and information may be obtained by calling or emailing the Board of Commissioners’ Office at 360-417-2233 or agores@co.clallam.wa.us.

Applications are due no later than 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 31.

Completed applications can be mailed or delivered to the Clallam County Human Resources Department at 223 E. Fourth St., Ste. 16, Port Angeles WA 98362-3015.

Redistricting details

The population of the largest district cannot exceed the population of the small district by more than 5 percent, and voting precincts must remain within the same district to the maximum extent possible, according to the Clallam County Charter.

In 2011, the two boundaries separating the three county commissioner districts shifted east based on growth in the Sequim area.

The line between east county District 1 and central-county District 2 now runs along Boyce Road in Carlsborg. The boundary between District 2 and District 3 now traces Valley Creek in Port Angeles.

Given its low population density, District 3 covers a massive geographic area between Port Angeles and the Pacific Ocean.

The three commissioners each appoint one representative to the districting commission. Political parties whose candidates garner at least 5 percent of the general election vote also will appoint one representative to the commission, Civil Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Elizabeth Stanley said.

The districting commission will hold public hearings in 2021.

County officials will have no role in drawing state or federal boundaries.

“They’ll be reapportioning federal congressional districts, state-level districts, and then we pretty much just have to do the county-level commissioner districts and double check that everything fits together,” Stanley said.

Rob Ollikainen, Olympic Peninsula News Group reporter, contributed to this story.

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