JONESBORO – Plans to redistrict boundaries for government entities based on 2020 Census data is in the works, and has just entered phase two.
Jennifer Clack, election coordinator, said redistricting of the county is something that happens in response to the data numbers reflected every 10 years from census data.
During the Election Commission meeting on Wednesday afternoon, commissioners made the decision to move forward with the next phase of redistricting.
“EFS GeoTechnologies already do our maps,” Clack said. “We want this to be a balanced redistricting; so everyone has a fair shot of serving wherever they are.”
If the redistricting is not conducted correctly, Clack said it could affect justice of peace races, in cases where one JP district might be responsible for a district that has 7,000 residents and another might be responsible for 10,000 residents.
Plans have been in the works for the redistricting for several months.
Robin Kuykendall, who serves on the election commission, said she spoke with two companies about software that will assist with making changes to the county map.
“I talked to EFS GeoTechnologies and Zillioninfo.com,” said Kuykendall.
Ultimately the decision was made to use EFS GeoTechnologies to redistrict the maps.
Clack said while the commission could have utilized software to redraw the lines, it was actually more cost effective to subcontract the work to a company that specializes in such technology.
“It just costs the county $3,000 or $4,000. We could have shopped around and bought the software, but that would have been more expensive, and I would have had to had done the work myself,” she said. “I thought it was best to let the experts handle it.”
There are thirteen districts that have to be evaluated, she said.
At some point, EFS GeoTechnologies will be out to survey the land and make those determinations.
“I don’t know when it will be completed, but I don’t expect this to take a long time,” Clack said. “We really want this done by October.”