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Adams County supervisors object to election district changes
from Staff Reports - NEWS
June 4, 2019 -

By John Mott Coffey

NATCHEZ, Miss. – The Adams County Election Commission changed voting district lines without legal authority and will be corrected, said county supervisors.
“They don’t have the power to do what they did,” said District 4 Supervisor Ricky Gray, who noted only the Board of Supervisors is authorized to realign districts from where voters elect supervisors and other county officials.
Election Commission Chairman Larry Gardner in April told supervisors that Adams County’s political map was modified in what was described as a “housekeeping” move to correct errors and minimize confusion about which district voters live in. The commission notified many voters they live in a supervisor district other than where they had been voting in.

This should not have happened, said county board attorney Scott Slover, who noted the commission erroneously relied on election districts’ written legal descriptions rather than the actual election maps drawn in 2001. That was the last time the county board reshaped the political lines. Supervisors did not redistrict the county after the 2010 census.

Political districts are redone after decennial censuses to ensure each district has about the same number of people.

With the upcoming county elections in August and November, clarity about the district lines is essential. Candidates need to know where voters are, and voters need to know which pool of district candidates they have to pick from.

Supervisor Calvin Butler said about 45 constituents in his District 5 were informed they live in another district. Butler, who’s president of the county board, said voters will receive notices that their voting precincts remain the same as before.

Concerns about district lines being “changed unilaterally” by the Election Commission were raised by Jack Blaney at the Board of Supervisors meeting Monday. Blaney filed to run for chancery clerk earlier this year but has since reportedly dropped out of the race.  
In April, when Gardner informed supervisors of the Election Commission’s changes, he said measures included corrections for street names and overlapping district lines.

“We feel very confident we got it all corrected,” Gardner told the five-member Board of Supervisors. | © 2014 | All Rights Reserved
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