Welcome to Districtr! This is a free community webtool for redistricting and community mapping provided by the MGGG Redistricting Lab at Tufts University. We welcome questions and inquiries about the tool and about our work in Yakima: email@example.com
On January 15, 2020, OneAmerica and Campaign Legal Center (CLC) filed a challenge letter over the current system employed by Yakima County. In it, they argue that the system dilutes the votes of Latinos in Yakima County and is in violation of the Washington Voting Rights Act (WVRA) and the Washington State Constitution. Read the full letter [here].
The Electoral System in Yakima County
At first glance, Yakima county seems to already be districted to facilitate minority opportunity to elect candidates of choice. There are three districts; District 1 is mostly White, but District 2 has a slight POC majority, including about 40% Hispanic VAP and an additional 8% Native VAP, while District 3 is 55% Hispanic by VAP.
This is undercut by an unusual—and very problematic—system of electing County Commissioners. Each district is represented by a Commissioner. The primary election is conducted by a district-wide "jungle primary," in which any number of candidates may run and the top two vote-getters advance to the general election without regard to party affiliation. (In fact, candidates with the "prefers Republican" label predominate over all others in Yakima, and this is even true for Hispanic candidates.) But the entire county, and not just the district, then votes to choose a winner between the two finalists. This indicates that the system itself negates any advantage of districting, nullifying the minorities' opportunity to elect.
Read more about our study of Voting Rights in Yakima and possible remedies in our report. Our data is available on our github.
Try Drawing Districts
We invite you to use Districtr to draw your own districts and think about some of the tradeoffs for yourself. You can build 3 City Council Districts using census blocks or precincts as the basic building blocks.
Build a plan from scratch
See sample plans
Click on any of the districting plans below to open it in Districtr. Then feel free to start modifying it yourself!