Cumberland Redistricting Plan Set

Published 5:20 pm Thursday, May 5, 2011

CUMBERLAND – The Board of Supervisors in Cumberland County adopted a resolution amending the County's ordinance for the purpose of redistricting the electoral districts earlier this month.

The adoption came after an appointed Redistricting Committee conducted work to adjust district lines after the 2010 Census data was received and now the proper channels are being taken with the U.S. Department of Justice to have the new plan approved in time so that it does not impact this year's election.

The Supervisors held its public hearing on April 12 and afterwards, the plan was approved and adopted to amend the County's code to reflect the change in the electoral district boundaries.

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According to County Attorney Howard Estes, the census data resulted in the electoral districts being unequal in terms of population among the five districts. This resulted in the Committee utilizing the assistance of the Commonwealth Regional Council and the organization's software, which allowed the Committee to work through each census block in the County to adjust lines and population numbers.

According to Estes and the Committee's Chairman, Carter Harrison, the goal was to seek equal population among the districts and to explore the recreation of a majority-minority District Three.

After several meetings, the Committee had developed three possible options, explained Harrison to the Board, as review, and it was determined that the Committee's first option was the best decision after holding its own public hearing.

The first option was to adjust the boundary lines between Districts One and Two.

The Supervisors also agreed that this was the best decision after holding its own public hearing during its meeting this month. There were no speakers signed up to address the redistricting plan.

As a result of the redistricting, District One's total population is now 2,016; District Two's total population now stands at 2,047; and District Three's population is now 2,003; District Four's population is now 2,004; and District Five's population is now 1,982.