The Temporary Redistricting Commission of Mitchell County will host a series of public meetings to present proposed redistricting maps, which have been developed by the commission.

In the 2018 election, Mitchell County voters were presented with the question of whether to move from three supervisors to five. Voters, by a 51% margin, expressed a desire to move to five supervisors. Because of that vote, Mitchell County had to be remapped into five districts.

The committee consisting of Chrystal Berche, Rita Dvorak, Mark Hendrickson, Mike Mayer and Stan Walk, were appointed by the Mitchell County Board of Supervisors in accordance with Iowa code, which allowed the supervisors to determine both the size and specific members of the commission.

Three members of the committee represent the Republican board majority with two representing the Democratic board minority.

This five-person board is responsible for presenting to both the public and the board of supervisors their recommendation of how the new districts should be formed.

Over the past several months, the commission held several meetings to discuss their ideas as well as discuss with the county auditor which plan(s) would cause the least confusion and disruption to voters.

The rules for redistricting called for the ideal population of a district to be determined by taking the total population of the county (10,776) and dividing it by the number of districts.

For Mitchell County, each district should have 2,155 people with a mean deviation of .01 or 1%. Therefore each district’s population needs to be within the range of 2,134 to 2,176 people. Other key rules included cities with a population under 2,155 could not be divided and districts boundaries need to be contiguous.

At the upcoming public meetings, three maps will be presented by the commission, allowing citizens an opportunity to ask questions as well as get a visual idea of what redistricting would look like under the plans presented.

The commission will make a recommendation to the board of supervisors following the series of public meetings. The final recommendation for redistricting will be made to the supervisors following a public hearing, which has not been scheduled yet.

The plan approved by the board of supervisors will then be submitted to the state commissioner of elections for approval.

In 2020, an election will be held in all five districts to determine the new Mitchell County Board of Supervisors.

The change would then go into effect on Jan. 1, 2021.

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