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Tazewell County to hold hearing on redistricting in January

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The News & Press

Tazewell, Va. – Little will change in the voting districts of Tazewell County following the 2020 census.

The redistricting committee’s recommendation was presented to the board of supervisors at its Nov. 16 meeting.  The group was with tasked with dividing the county’s 40,429 citizens into five districts of equal size.

The districts could be no more than five percent above or below the ideal target of 8,086. County Administrator said the committee took the approach of doing as little change as possible. He said they also wanted to be as close as they could get to the ideal number and keep the five districts basically the same size.

Every district was within the variance except the Southern which had 8,585 people, putting it six percent over the ideal number.  The Dollar General near the landfill was the boundary between the eastern and southern district.

The boundary will move west to the western end of Industry road. That will move several people to the eastern district. Young said the parents there send children to Graham schools and they might prefer to vote on tehe eastern school board member.

They also moved people on Wardell Road from the southern to the western. That brought the southern to the proper number and did not affect the other districts.

They also moved Nye Valley Road voters on the south side of East River Mountain from the eastern to the southern allowing six people to vote at Clearfork rather than Bluefield.  They also moved some people from Tip Top to the eastern district.

Young said they should have been there all along but an error in the meets and bounds description resulted moved them to the southern. The committee wants to change that.

 The committee also recommends moving some residents of Bearwallow near the West Virginia line to the northwestern district so they can vote in Richlands. The board has to advertise the changes and hold a public hearing before enacting the new plan.

County Attorney Chase Collins asked the board to set a public hearing for the January meeting.  Young said the meets and bounds description would not be ready for a public hearing in December.

If the plan is approved there will be 8,136 voters in the eastern district, 7,972 in the northern, 8,106 in the northwestern, 8,389 in the southern and 7,826 in the western.  The supervisors voted to set the public hearing for the January meeting.

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