WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Redistricting will soon be occurring for the four Wichita County precincts after county commissioners voted to move forward with the process.
In a 5-0 vote, the commissioners and Judge Woody Gossom voted to begin the redistricting in an effort to keep the precincts balanced and ethically equal.
Population numbers, race demographics and voting locations are all areas of concern when County Commissioners are tasked with redistricting precincts.
A task Wichita County Judge Woody Gossom said he knew he and the Wichita County Commissioners would need to do and do quickly.
“First thing it’s the law, I mean it’s real simple every ten years, and when we say every ten, you’re thinking that’s going to be 2000 then 2010 but it takes time to do the census so really this year we’re behind when we would normally do this,” Gossom said.
Due to precinct demographics constantly changing over the years each area has to be assessed to determine what changes need to be made to ensure the precincts are equal.
“As populations shift, people move, you have to then adjust the precinct boundaries to try to keep the same level of minority influence in that precinct,” Gossom said.
Together the commissioners agreed to move forward with plan B of the redistricting process that would equally set the new precinct boundary maps. Gossom said this won’t affect residents too much.
“There will be some changes in the JP and constables precincts but not appreciable. I doubt anybody would look at a map and go, ‘oh wow.’ No, they are not going to change much at all,” Gossom said.
Precinct One Commissioner Mark Beauchamp said the commissioners did what was best with the time they had to make these decisions.
“We did as about a good a job as we could do in reality without really creating entire new lines for each precinct,” Beauchamp said.
Beauchamp wants residents to know their best interest was always a priority in the redistricting process.
“The whole deal in the process was one vote for every voter and make every vote count and going through that process now that I’ve seen it first hand. I see the very much importance of making sure these boundaries are correct and to make sure that everyone is represented fairly,” Beauchamp said.
Working to keep things fair and equal for Wichita County residents.
Gossom said the next step in the process is getting the new maps of the precincts and then the county clerk will begin getting residents sorted into these new precincts.