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Major redistricting changes will leave some voting in new districts

Published: Oct. 19, 2021 at 5:26 PM EDT
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Weston, W.Va (WDTV) - As lawmakers in Charleston try to come to an agreement on redistricting, officials locally are raising concerns.

Lewis County Clerk Cynthia Rowan says redistricting could leave residents with a host of unknowns when they go to the polls.

“We are having some major changes done this year,” said Rowan.

As state lawmakers debate new redistricting lines, some local counties are concerned about how this will impact their residents.

For the first time in West Virginia’s 158-year history, the state will move to 100 single-member delegate districts.

Rowan says the county has three of those districts and they are all based on population.

“Every ten years when the census is done then the legislation needs to redistrict [to] make sure that all magisterial districts all precincts have the correct number of people in them averaging out equally,” said Rowan.

This she says dividing up the districts will be even more extensive and important, especially since West Virginia lost a congressional seat following the most recent census.

As for how this will impact those in Lewis County, Rowan points out that people will have to vote in a new district, and one that may not be familiar.

“These people will vote for the delegate that we have in our county, but these people now are going to have to vote for a delegate in a new district, they could run in this county, this county, this county but they’ll basically be in another,” said Rowan.

The redistricting, Rowan says, could affect two if not all three of Lewis County’s precincts.

“...and so this part here is going to be in another delegate district,” said Rowan.

Once final action is taken by lawmakers, officials say it could take several weeks for a redistricting map to be signed off on by the governor.

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