Commission talks district lines

Published 2:09 pm Monday, June 10, 2013

The county commission agreed Monday to take a look at its district lines in order to ensure that the minority district is carved out properly.

Commissioners discussed that some residents who live along the Patsburg Highway and Quail Tower Road, who are currently in District 2 and District 3, could be placed in District 5.

District 5 Commissioner Charlie Sankey said there are about 15 voters on each stretch of roadway that should be in his district.

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Sankey said he currently has his quota of voters needed to maintain equal population, but the issue lies with people not wanting to vote in another district.

Attorney Johnny Nichols reminded the commission they couldn’t shift too many voters because it would throw off “the one man, one vote” rule.

District 2 Commissioner Merrill Sport agreed that the minority population was down in the county and that the commission had been “pulling and plugging to have a minority district.”

Nichols told the commission that the group had approved the lines and the Department of Justice had granted preclearance for them.

One issue that has arisen is the fact that the Board of Registrars does not have an appropriate map, the commission agreed.

County Engineer Benji Sanders said he has a copy of the correct district lines, and the commission agreed to take a look at it before proceeding with fixing District 5.

If any changes are necessary, the commission will have to adopt those and get approval from the Department of Justice, Nichols said.