Redistricting impacts voters

Published 9:56 am Thursday, September 15, 2011

Data from the latest census will affect voters come Election Day.

Figures from the 2010 census show that Greenville’s population climbed from 7,220 to 8,135. It also shows that District 1 gained 463 people, while District 4 has added 104 people since the 2000 census.

Because the City of Greenville operates under what is known as a single-member district, meaning each of the city’s five districts is represented by one council member, federal law dictates that each district have the same number of voters or be within a 10 percent deviation of each other.

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That means city officials must shuffle voters in order to meet the requirements, which means voters may be forced to cast their ballots in a different location than in the past.

The Greenville City Council’s plan involves shifting 510 residents out of District 1 and another 134 out of District 4, while adding 411 to District 2, 54 to District 3 and 179 to District 5.

The council announced the city’s five proposed polling places at Monday night’s regular meeting.

Residents of District 1 will vote at the Greenville Police Department, located on 215 Administrative Dr.

District 2 residents will vote at City Hall, located on 119 E. Commerce St.

Residents of District 3 will cast their ballots at the Butler County Health Department, located at 350 Airport Rd.

District 4 residents will vote at Beeland Park Recreation Center, located at 1018 E. Commerce St., and District 5 residents will vote at Dunbar Community Center, located at 208 School Highland Rd.

“This isn’t something that we are taking action on right now,” Greenville Mayor Dexter McLendon said at Monday night’s city council meeting. “All we are doing is introducing our plan.”

A public hearing will be held Sept. 26 at 4 p.m. at City Hall to discuss the council’s proposed redistricting plan.

Council Members

District 1 – Jean Thompson

District 2 – Ed Sims

District 3 – Tommy Ryan

District 4 – James Lewis

District 5 – Jeddo Bell