County’s redistricting approved
Kaitlyn Clay, Staff Writer, [email protected]
It’s an election year, and there have been some changes made with regard to how counties, including Harrison, are divided into districts based on the 2020 U.S. Census numbers.
Take the Harrison County council districts, for example.
The ideal population for each of the four districts is 9,913.5. The combination of the four districts’ deviations from that number to the actual population provides a total population deviation. The map has to be within 10% of the deviation to be compliant with the state. Had the map stayed the same as recent years, it would currently be at 19% deviation based on census data.
In the 2022 updated district map, the total deviation is now 7.5% based on changes.
District 1 for the council now encompasses Blue River and Spencer townships and portions of Harrison Township. District 2 is Morgan and Jackson townships. District 3 is portions of Harrison Township and all of Franklin Township. Finally, District 4 boasts Posey and Webster townships as well as portions of Boone, Harrison, Heth, Taylor and Washington townships.
The voting precinct map also saw a shift as six new precincts were added to Harrison County after the redistricting maps were approved for 2022 by the Harrison County Board of Commissioners and the Indiana Election Division.
The county will now have 45 precincts, as opposed to the previous year’s 39.
The decision to increase the number of precincts was made by the commissioners. However, Harrison Circuit Court Clerk Sherry Brown said that population size had a lot to do in determining that. She also said that some townships now have their own precincts due to having separate elections throughout the year.
Having their own poll books for those times would make things a lot easier for poll workers, according to Brown.
One area of residents that will see a change is Franklin Township. In 2021, the precincts were Franklin Central, North, South and West. Now, the precincts are Franklin Central, North, South, West and an added Franklin Lanesville precinct.
Harrison Township will also see quite a change as two districts were added in that area. In 2021, the precincts were Harrison West, Southwest, Southeast, South, Northwest, Northeast, North and East. Now, in 2022, they are Harrison Central, East, East Southeast, North Northeast, Northwest, South, Southeast, Southwest and West.
Jackson Township went from five to seven precincts. Now, it will have Jackson Crandall, East, North, Northeast, Northwest, Southeast and Southwest.
The commissioners’ districts also saw change for 2022. Prior to this change, these districts have been the same for decades.
Based on the 2020 census, district 1 had 35% of the population, district 2 had 49% and district 3 had 16%. After the redistricting that occurred, the precincts are now a bit more equal in population, with the breakdown of the districts being district 1 having 35% of the population, district 2 with 34% and district 3 with 31%.
The updated maps have not been posted on the Harrison County government website as of press time yesterday (Tuesday) but should be available for viewing soon.