Drawing lines: Public input sought in redistricting process | TheUnion.com

Drawing lines: Public input sought in redistricting process

Supervisor District Lines roll out to public

The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday urged residents to take the initiative and participate in a public discussion of how their current district boundaries may need adjusting since the lines were drawn a decade ago.

Stephen Monaghan, the county’s chief information officer, said that every 10 years counties across the country must reassess population shifts so congressional and supervisor districts can be appropriately drawn to accurately reflect how population has changed.

Douglas Yoakum, who’s helping the county with redistricting, said maps must be essentially equal in population.

“There should be little deviation in population among the districts,” he said. “We have to follow the federal Voting Rights Act. There cannot be discrimination against protected classes of voters, so they can elect a candidate of their own choice.”

Maps cannot favor or discriminate against any political party, socio-economic interest or a communities of interest. These groups can be delineated by a geographic region, but also by a shared issue, characteristic, or one that is impacted by county policy. Other boundaries can be defined by rivers, mountain ridges, major highways or parks. And the boundaries should be easily understood by the residents.

“So, it’s part of my job to figure out how to accommodate population deviation estimates, and how we can come up with a final draft map for all,” Yoakum said.

“It’s my desire the public has the opportunity to comment and the county takes that into consideration,” he added.

An initial public draft map should be prepared by Oct. 22. Supervisor hearings are scheduled for Nov. 9 and 16. Supervisors are expected to vote Dec. 14 on the final map. The deadline to vote is Dec. 15.

William Roller is a staff writer with The Union. He can be reached at wroller@theunion.com



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