Minden Press-Herald

Wednesday
Oct 01st

Board districts up to judge

Webster Parish's district lines have been redrawn and will be sent to a federal judge for approval before becoming effective.

"We are in the process of submitting it (plan) now," demographer Doug Mitchell said. "Once it is submitted, it takes 60 days to be reviewed by the Justice Department."

If approved, the plan will be in effect for the qualifying deadline of October 22 and for elections on November 19.

"If you look at this plan compared to current district lines, there's not a whole lot of changes," Mitchell said. "The loss of population in the parish caused us to have to rotate things, mostly in the Minden and Springhill areas."

Last year's census showed Webster Parish's population has decreased enough to require district lines be redrawn.

Webster Parish School Board and Webster Parish Police Jury entered into a contract with Mitchell, stating that if the same plan were used for both governing bodies, the cost of demographing services would total $20,000.

If a separate plan were tailored for either the board or jury, the cost would total $30,000. Each governing body would pay half of the total cost.

"The same plan is being used by both the jury and the board," Mitchell said. "So there will not be an increase in the cost of services."

The WPPJ approved the plan in April, after Mitchell adjusted it at the request of jurors, and was recently approved by the WPSB at a meeting held earlier this month.

Louisiana is subject to Section 5 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which means changes that affect voting must be reviewed and approved by the United States Department of Justice to ensure there will be no discrimination in voting in elections.

According to the Webster Parish Office of Register of Voters, when changes are made to district lines, voters will receive notices from the registrar by mail.

Residents looking for maps of the proposed district lines should contact the WPSB or WPPJ.

 

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