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Commissioners to consider electoral redistricting

Posted Friday, July 14, 2006

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Pittsboro, NC - On Monday's board meeting, Chatham County Commissioners will hear public comments on correcting Commissioner district population imbalances, consideration of changing to electing commissioners by district, and consideration of adding two additional commissioners.

Public input concerning changing current Commissioners Districts

Three issues
1. Redefining the electoral districts based on the updated 2000 census data.
2. Electing commissioners by true electoral districts starting in 2008.
3. Add two district seats to the five-member commissioner board in 2008.

Reasons for consideration
· Citizen’s suggestions and complaints over the years
· Municipal, state and federal representatives are elected by districts
· Majority of the adjoining counties have true electoral districts (Orange in Nov.)
· Formal request by Chatham County Republican Party
· Current voter population imbalances in the districts:

2005 2006 Voters % 1 year change % Increase
District 1__ 10978__11840__32.1___862__ 7.85
District 2___5397___6373__17.3___976__ 18.08
District 3___8126___7779__21.1___-347__ -4.27
District 4___5142___5197___14.1____55___ 1.07
District 5___5592___5703___15.4___111___ 1.98
Total_____35235__36892__100.0__1657

Procedure

After public input on July 17/18, 2006 the commissioners may vote to hold a public hearing August 21, 2006 to present a resolution placing items #2 & 3 on the ballot as a referendum for the citizens to vote up or down in the November 2006 general election.

1. Change the current Commissioners Districts to correct the population imbalances. (The commissioners’ can changed the districts; a citizen vote is not necessary.)

2. Change from Residency Districts to True Electoral Districts.

3. Increase the Commissioners Board from five members to seven members.

The Chatham County’s MIS department will draw district maps since districts are not political and must be based on population. The advisory committee will be the chair or vice-chair of the Democrat and Republican parties, one additional qualified voter from each of the two parties appointed by their executive boards and Dr. M. Thomas Wagner, Jr. as Mediator. Dr. Wagner is a well-respected mediator with Deep River Mediation. He will vote only if there is a tie concerning any matter. Dawn Stumpf, Director of Chatham County Board of Elections, will assist the MIS department and the committee if needed.

If required, the MIS department and the committee will have the new districts, either five or seven, drawn by August 14, 2006 and placed on the county web site by August 16, 2006 so citizens can study them before the public hearing on August 21, 2006.

 
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