Denton County residents will get multiple chances over the next two weeks to offer input on proposed redistricting maps before they’re approved Nov. 9.
On Oct. 26, the Denton County Commissioners Court discussed the redistricting process during a regular meeting. County Judge Andy Eads said the timing of the release of census data made the redistricting process different from what it had been 10 years ago.
Frank Phillips, the county’s elections administrator, said the county would normally get census information in April, allowing the county to have maps finalized by August.
“But because of the delay in the census numbers, that has put us under a totally different type of time crunch,” Phillips said Tuesday. “We got initial numbers in August this year, when we’re normally wrapping up. We got the numbers that are in a usable format, for lack of a better term, in September, and so the governor didn’t pass or sign off on the congressional, house, senate, state board of education districts until yesterday. So we really didn’t have much we could work with until yesterday.”
Phillips said the county must wait on state mapping procedures to finish to make sure they are aware of any voter precinct changes.
“So we’re really at their mercy until they do their maps before we can even really get a good attempt at ours,” he said.
Denton County has since published proposed redistricting maps that reflect updated county
commissioner precincts as well as justice of the peace and constable redistricting proposals.
According to data provided by Denton County, the target population for each commissioner precinct was just over 226,000. Precinct 1, which includes portions of Frisco and Little Elm, would have a population of 223,508.
Precinct 2, which includes The Colony and part of Carrollton, would have a population of 236,368. Precinct 3, which includes parts of Lewisville and Flower Mound would have a population of 222,974. Precinct 4, which includes a portion of Flower Mound, would have a population of 223,572.
The proposed 2021 redistricting maps are available on the Denton County website. Residents will be able to provide public input on the proposed maps at the Nov. 2 and Nov. 9 meetings of the Denton County Commissioners Court. They can also submit input on the county website.
The court is slated to adopt final maps on Nov. 9, and candidates will be able to start filing for a place on the general primary election ballot on Nov. 13.
“We realize that time is of the essence on these maps, and we want to also not only do this in a timely manner, I do believe that we have time to do this, but also in a thoughtful manner and an inclusive manner, and one that’s also transparent,” Denton County Judge Andy Eads said Tuesday.