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Politics & Elections

Jackson County Board Will Vote On Proposed Redistricting Map May 18th

Current And Proposed District Map
Jackson County Board
Jackson County Board
Current And Proposed District Map

Every county in the state is in the process of redistricting, but in Jackson County some people are not happy with the proposed map.

Jackson County Chair Keith Larkin presented his redistricting map to the Jackson County Board Executive Committee during their May meeting committee for consideration and discussion.

Typically redistricting is done after the census to make sure each district has roughly the same number of people in it.

This year the 2020 census data won’t be available until September which is about three months after the county's deadline to complete its plans.

Larkin says he used data from the 2010 census and 2018 and 2019 five year estimates from the American Community Survey.

The committee voted six to one to have the board vote on the map at the next full board meeting May 18th.

Larkin says he presented the map like every other idea or proposal is presented for consideration to the county board.

“When I made this map I kind of had a couple of things in line one we all by statute have to represent roughly the same amount of people, two I wanted to minimize the number of precincts that would be split and I also wanted to keep all incumbent board members in their same districts, so nobody had to vote their selves off the board.”

County Board member Gene Basden says the board should have had input on the map and the new lines unfairly group parts of different towns together that won’t be represented fairly.

“We need to find a solution to this that’s amicable to everybody and also still representing who we’re made to represent, Carbondale should not be in Murphysboro 3, so a represent from Carbondale should not be in Murphysboro voting district 3, myself of Murphysboro representative should not be in Carbondale 7.”

If the board does not finalize the map by June 30th, a bi-partisan committee will draw a new map without input from the county board.