Press Release: Redistricting
PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Dylan Bass Executive Assistant/PIO
October 19, 2021
Jackson County BOCC Redistricting
Jackson County, FL – Every 10 years, after the collection of the decennial census data, states redraw their state and congressional district lines. This process is known as redistricting. These districts determine how communities are represented at the local, state, and federal levels. The redistricting process is fundamental in influencing how our government works.
Redistricting is the process of drawing boundaries for political districts. Redistricting balances County districts to account for population shifts, which ensures equal representation.
On October 19, 2021, The Jackson County Board of County Commissioners met with members of the School Board to begin the process. The Board reviewed three maps at this meeting: one each from JCBOCC, the NAACP/ACLU, and Jackson County School Board. On October 26, 2021, at 2:00pm the Board met again to review a working map, which they ultimately voted to accept. They set a final special meeting on November 1, 2021, to true the lines of that map. The intent of truing the district lines was to avoid section lines as much as possible by utilizing existing features like roads and waterways. This serves multiple purposes; aligning commission boundaries with major physical features assists in retaining established neighborhoods and allowing districts to be easily described and conceptualized. District lines do sometimes deviate from these features to adhere to other redistricting practices, primarily equal population and following Census tract lines.
It’s important to have snapshot of the population of each district when this process begins. The boundary lines that were in place prior to redistricting, had been in place for around 30 years. During that time, there have been population shifts leaving all districts/populations out of balance.
Here are the population totals per district prior to redistricting (excluding prison population):
District 1: 5,836
District 2: 9,803
District 3: 7,099
District 4: 9,604
District 5: 9,669
The primary goal of redistricting is to balance the population of all districts as evenly as possible while adhering to the guiding principles the federal government has put in place.
After redistricting, the following population totals have been achieved (excluding prison population).
District 1: 8,371
District 2: 8,481
District 3: 8,245
District 4: 8,435
District 4: 8,479
In addition to the guiding principles set forth under the law, Jackson County is also under a court order to “…proceed on a single district basis… in which one district will be comprised of a population of which at least fifty percent (50) is black.” James H. Glenn, et al., plaintiffs, v. Jackson County, et al. The new district map remains in compliance with this court order.
What comes next?
Legal descriptions of boundary lines are currently being developed. Once those are in place, these maps and the legal descriptions will be advertised in a local paper for two consecutive weeks. Afterwards the maps and legal descriptions will be forwarded to the Department of State. Then, the Supervisor of Elections office will begin to review the new boundary lines and determine if precinct lines will need to be adjusted. If precinct lines are adjusted, those new precinct lines will be submitted for approval to the Board of County Commissioners. Once approved by the BOCC, and once the State has finalized their redistricting plans, all Jackson County registered voters will receive new voter registration information cards via US mail which will outline their new district and precinct.
To view the current and new district map, visit the links below.