Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Commissioners have more time to finalize redistricting

Back To Front Page

By JEFF SCHULTZ

A special meeting of the Porter County Commissioners to finalize new maps for the four County Council districts scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 30, has been canceled.

Commissioner President John Evans, R-North, said that the Commissioners initially were under the impression that the changes had be completed by November which is why there was “a rush” to get the mapping done. However, the statute allows county executive boards until the end of the year to finalize the mapping and the Commissioners would like to look at population data, Evans said.

The state requires counties to redistrict every ten years after a census is taken. Redistricting must be done in a non-election year

“We want to take our time and do it right,” said Evans.

The Commissioners received a letter from the Association of Indiana Counties alerting them of a study done by a group from DePauw University showing that Porter County’s population deviation is an “unacceptable 25 percent” and the districts “need to be redrawn” or potentially face lawsuits.

The Depauw group created a website, www.indianalocalredistricting.com, of the analyses it did on 86 of Indiana’s 92 counties.

County Council member Jeremy Rivas, who is the elected representative for the County’s second Council district, said the information the group was using was not accurate. The measurements included precincts in entire townships while there are instances where part of the precincts are accounted for in other districts.

For example, the student group determined the population of District 1 by adding up the number of registered voters in Liberty, Jackson, Pine and Westchester townships but did not take into account the four precincts from Center Twp. that are also included.

The redistricting website now has a message on the Porter County page saying the students’ assessments were based on data provided by both the Indiana Election Division and the Porter County Voter Registration Office and concludes “that information is apparently incorrect.”

As of deadline today, the Commissioners have not set a new date for the special meeting.

 

 

Posted 10/29/2013