State battle could complicate county precinct mapping

2012-02-23T22:00:00Z 2012-02-26T15:10:50Z State battle could complicate county precinct mappingWENDY MITCHELL Ledger Independent
February 23, 2012 10:00 pm  • 

BROOKSVILLE | With future Kentucky House and Senate district lines unclear without a score card, a new potential problem has emerged from the state battle over redistricting.

In the summer of 2011 each county was mandated to file a redistricting plan with the state in order to comply with regulations requiring each voting precinct to contain the same amount of constituents, within 5 percent either side of equal.

Meetings were held, maps were worked, and reworked, and decisions were made in each county, based on the 2010 U.S. Census data for that county.

Once completed, each map was submitted for approval by officials in Frankfort.

Usually the state is done first, Bracken County Attorney Mike Clark said.

But legal wrangling in Frankfort has led to a tenuous situation for every county, he said.

Months after being submitted, maps are still not approved, and may face more changes, officials said.

"If the (state) redistricting changes, we may be forced to do all that over again," said Bracken County Clerk RaeJean Poe, who only recently learned Frankfort officials wanted more details about precinct lines placed on the Bracken County map, including a reference to show where the Ohio River was located and a bigger map of Augusta.

"Anyone visiting Augusta and going north on Elizabeth Street is going to find (the Ohio River) easy enough," said Bracken County Attorney Mike Clark.

Part of the potential problem would be if a county was split by a House or Senate district, as in the proposal to split Lewis County into three districts.

New precincts would have to be created on the county level and new maps for each division created, officials said.

"None of the precincts can overlap," Poe said.

Bracken officials said on Wednesday, they hoped such a change would not happen there, but nothing is guaranteed until the state process was completed.

The potential waste of time and resources concerns Poe.

"We put a lot of time and effort into getting what we were suppose to do done on time," Poe said. "I hope we don't have to do it over."

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