New redistricting puts pinch on election commission

Published 10:42 pm Thursday, November 18, 2021

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The Carter County Election Commission has no time to waste now that redistricting is completed.

The Carter County Commission approved the redistricting plan on Nov. 9. Now, the election commission must enter changes and notify voters of the local changes prior to the start of qualifying on Dec. 20 for the 2022 countywide elections.

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“Once the Comptroller’s office receives the signed resolution, then we will see the roads that have been moved and start addressing the changes in our street index in the voting software,” said Tracy Tanner-Harris, administrator of elections.

“We will print off new registration cards with a letter indicating the reason for the change of districts and voting locations to mail to each individual voter.”

There are 33,695 registered voters in Carter County.

The county is required to redistrict every 10 years after the U.S. Census releases its updated population numbers to ensure that each district has equal representation within deviation numbers set forth by the state. The new lines are within 2.5 percent deviation, an improvement from the previous 6 percent. Tanner-Harris said COVID-19 issues delayed the redistricting efforts this year.
Tanner-Harris said candidates who plan to seek seats on the Carter County Commission must be sure they reside in the district they seek to represent. Each candidate must present a petition with at least 25 signatures in order to qualify.

The first day to pick up a petition is Dec. 20, 2021, and the deadline to return petition is noon Feb. 17, 2022. The primary is May 3, 2022, and the general election is Aug. 4, 2020.

In addition to the commission seats, the following offices will be on the ballot: Circuit Clerk, Clerk, Executive, Highway Superintendent, Mayor, Register of Deeds, Sheriff, and Trustee.

“If a resident has questions about where they vote, they can visit GOVOTETN.GOV to look up their polling location and district. Hopefully the state will have that uploaded by Dec. 20,” said Tanner-Harris.

Tanner-Harris also said the state Senate and House district lines will be completed by the end of January.

“We may have to possibly send new cards out again with the correct house and senate districts if these have changed,” she said. “This will be for the August state primary so we will have a little extra time to complete this.”