Commissioners Unanimously Vote to Approve Version 5 District Map
This morning, the Harnett County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to approve version five of the County’s proposed district map. The new district map will take effect for the 2022 elections.
Following the release of the 2020 Census data in August, County Commissioners were required to redraw the districts to balance out the population due to more than 18,000 individuals moving to the County in the last decade. Commissioners were tasked with approving a new district map by November 17 to comply with regulations set by the North Carolina General Assembly.
County Commissioners collaborated with Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard, L.L.P. (Brooks Pierce) to assist in reviewing and redrawing their respective member-district maps in light of the 2020 Census data. Brooks Pierce engaged Peter A. Morrison & Associates to provide expert advice on the technical drawing of the district maps.
“I would like to thank my fellow Commissioners, County staff, and especially Mr. Craig Schauer with Brooks Pierce law firm, who has very capably and professionally led us through this redistricting process,” stated Harnett County Board of Commissioners Chairman Brooks Matthews. “While the condensed time frame to get this process completed generated some lively discussion and multiple revisions, I am thankful we were able to complete the process as required by state law.”
Commissioners received a first draft of the new district map in late September. During October and early November, suggestions from Commissioners resulted in the creation of five additional versions of the district map.
At the Board’s November 15 regular meeting, Commissioners voted to recess the meeting until the morning of November 17 to continue discussion on the new districts and the goal of approving a new district map.
County residents were asked to provide feedback on the proposed district maps during public hearings at the November 8 work session and the November 15 regular meeting, receiving several comments from residents in various districts.
Chairman Matthews expressed his appreciation for the feedback from Harnett County citizens. “I am also very appreciative for the public input and feedback we received as we navigated this process,” stated Matthews. “With the discovery that our current maps were out of balance and needing to be altered to provide equal representation for all citizens, I was proud to participate in the process of establishing districts with the goal of meeting the constitutional and statutory requirements of one person, one vote, while adhering to the requirements of the Voting Rights Act.”
With the new district map being used for the 2022 elections, the Harnett County Board of Elections will update the voting district lines and have those in place by the beginning of candidate filing on December 6, 2021.
The new district map will be used for the next 10 years until the 2030 Census data is provided to the Board to determine if any imbalance has been created within the current districts.