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County to hold public hearing on new voting precincts

Cerro Gordo County Courthouse exterior

Cerro Gordo County Courthouse

Ever wonder how you ended up voting where you do? Now is your chance to watch the sausage get made.

Every 10 years local and state governments undergo a redistricting process that comes after the nation's 10-year census is complete. Where people live is the foundation upon which political districts are built. Gov. Kim Reynolds recently signed into law the state's new political districts approved by the Legislature. Cerro Gordo County was specifically impacted by the new lines, moving from the current 4th Congressional District to the newly re-drawn 3rd. The county's voice in the U.S. House of Representatives went from Republican to Democrat.

Now, cities and counties all over Iowa, including Cerro Gordo, are following suit. The Cerro Gordo County Temporary Count Redistricting Commission will hold a public hearing on the new lines for the county's rural precincts at 11 a.m. Nov. 23 in the county's boardroom at the courthouse, 220 N. Washington Ave.

The redistricting commission can be made up of three, five or seven members, depending on what the county's board of supervisors determine. Cerro Gordo's board chose three. Since the majority party of Cerro Gordo's board of supervisors is Republican, the Republican party chose the majority of the members -- in this case, 2. Democrats picked 1. Members of the commission are Tim Latham, Emily Peters and Rich Paxson.

This map shows how Cerro Gordo's precincts are proposed to be redrawn to reflect the 2020 Census numbers.
This map shows the boundary lines of the county's current precincts.

This commission is not required to change the county's rural precincts, but must at least review them. Based on population changes, the commission is proposing the following changes:

  • Falls Township becomes part of one precinct instead of two
  • Grimes Township becomes part of one precinct instead of two
  • Dougherty Township and city splits from the precinct that now includes them and Portland and Owen townships.
  • The city and township of Dougherty joins with Geneseo Township in one precinct.
  • Mason South, Owen, Bath and Portland townships become one precinct.

At the public hearing, Cerro Gordo County residents will be able to weigh in on the changes before they go to the county board for final approval. The new rural precinct lines will go into effect on Jan. 15, 2022.

The county's process doesn't apply to any city with a population of more than 3,000, so Mason City and Clear Lake will undergo their own redistricting.  


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