Bremerton solves redistricting disparity

On Monday we had the story about Bremerton’s redistricting of its nine city council districts, pointing out that the city seemed headed toward a similar situation it had a dozen years ago. In one council election the loser in one district had more votes than the total number of voters in District Four.

In 2002 the council accounted for that and made District Four much bigger than the other districts. As of today District Four has 6,341 resident. The next largest is District Two, with 4,362 residents. District Four now has nearly double the residents as District Eight. Still, with the huge presence of Navy personnel who vote in their home towns, District Four had the lowest turnout.

As was pointed out Monday, the city interpreted existing law to state that it could no longer acknowledge that reality in its redistricting. District Four would have to return to near the same size as other districts. As it turned out the first proposal also left it as the lowest populated district overall, but only by 23.

Bill Eley, the city’s information technology manager, figured out a way to remedy that. The district actually got smaller, but pulled residents from other more participatory districts and gave some of its Navy-heavy neighborhoods to District Seven, which also borders the base and the shipyard.

Eley said District Four will still probably see the lowest turnout, but some of the Navy impact is shared.

It is worth pointing out here that story commented Brandon_R made just this suggestion. I think he and Eley arrived at the same conclusion independently. I asked Eley how he came up with the new idea and his answer didn’t include reading our story.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Before you post, please complete the prompt below.

Please enter the word MILK here: