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Sortition Process 

The Sortition Process is a democratic lottery where Assembly Members reflecting the makeup of Washington State are randomly selected by rolling dice.  Watch the WA Climate Assembly's Coordinating Team select Assembly members from Washington State during this 30-minute live streamed public meeting.  

Follow the WA Climate Assembly proceedings on our social media channels:

  • Facebook
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  • YouTube


See the detailed Assembly Member Recruiting, Management, and Retention Methodology document and view the WA Climate Assembly Members demographic profile.

The WA Climate Assembly called 6,333 households via Random Digit Dialing (RDD) recruiting using a longtime RDD sample provider, Scientific Telephone Samples, for RDD sample development. These samples are based on assigned numbers (for landline) or billing zip codes (for cellphone) to ensure the numbers we targeted were within the target market for this assembly.


Once call recipients who were willing and able RSVP’ed to the WA Climate Assembly team, a volunteer team (Panelot) from Carnegie Melon University and Harvard University used an algorithm they developed to generate a list of 10,000 panel compositions. Each one of these panel compositions had a mix of 80 potential Assembly members that reflected the make-up of Washington State, including: 

  • Approximately half men/women

  • Age range from 16+

  • Congressional district

  • Income level

  • Race/ethnicity

  • Education level 

  • A range of opinions backed by earlier studies about whether global warming is happening; is caused mostly by human activities; and whether the individual is worried about global warming. 

Each panel composition also includes a set of 10 backups, or Alternates, who could act as substitutes for panel members who drop out of the process. The algorithm ensures that (within the limits of what is possible while generating representative assemblies), no pool members appears in too few panel compositions. What that means is that each of the pool members had a probability of at least 29% to be chosen for the Assembly, and a chance of at least 39% to be chosen at all (for the Assembly member or the backup or Alternate). Each of these possible combinations was identified by a unique number from 0000 through 9999. To get to our unique four digit number, we rolled four dice, one at a time. Each of the four 10-sided dice selected just one digit of the four-digit number.  Together these four, ten-sided dice gave us a four-digit number which we used to determine the group of 80 that was been chosen for the Assembly along with the 10 Alternates. 

UPDATE: Since the live sortition event, some Assembly members and alternates notified us that they were no longer able to participate. We removed them from our list and referenced our quotas to select the six additional members and ten additional alternates to fill the quotas as best as possible.

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