Vance County residents have the opportunity to attend several public listening sessions in the next month as the county begins the business of redrawing district boundaries for commissioner and school board seats.
The first meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 28 at 6 p.m. at the Vance County Administration building. The second meeting will take place at the Townsville Volunteer Fire Department on Monday, Oct. 11 and the third meeting will be Monday, Oct. 18 at Kittrell Volunteer Fire Department. All meetings begin at 6 p.m., according to information from Kelly Grissom, clerk to the board of commissioners.
Every 10 years, counties use updated Census data to ensure that voting districts have essentially the same number of constituents. Changes are required after every Census to ensure the “one person, one vote” standard. To do so, an ideal population is established for each district by dividing the population by the number of elected officials to be elected from those districts.
Information on the county’s website notes the population by district, based on 2020 Census data. The ideal population for each district has been calculated at 6,083. Districts 1, 2 and 7 stand to lose some constituents and districts 3,4,5 and 6 could gain some constituents as the boundaries are redrawn.
Although there is some room for flexibility, districts must still meet federal and state guidelines. The state’s guidelines are stricter, allowing for a 5 percent deviation.
For Vance County to meet that 5 percent or better threshold, lines must be drawn so that there are no more than 304 people in any one district versus another. District 7 will get the most attention as it is 13.1% over at the present time in population. No other district is more than 2.7% worse than ideal. Since three of the four districts that surround district 7 are in pretty good shape, minor adjustments should correct all issues related to population and district lines.
District 7 is largely what could be described as north and west Henderson, extending west between the I-85 and U.S. 158 Business corridors and including areas like the Dabney community and west as well as south of Oxford Road to Old County Home Road.
As a result of the Census data, Henderson’s fall election was rescheduled for spring 2022; municipal elections in Kittrell and Middleburg are not affected.