Approximately 433 addresses in Clinton County have been redistricted to accommodate KRS 117.0552, resulting in a change of voting precinct locations for those residents.
The redistricting, according to County Court Clerk Shelia Booher, is designed to even out the number of voters in each precinct in order to make them as close to the same as possible. The state law required all precincts to be within five percent of each district.
Eight of the 13 precincts in Clinton County will be affected, including, Illwill, Speck, North Albany, Snow, Highway, Neathery-Cave Springs, South Albany and West Albany.
The Neathery-Caves Springs precinct is one of two precincts with the least amount of change, acquiring only 10 more addresses to its list. In the Neathery-Cave Springs precinct before the change, there are 454 registered voters and with the change, 464 will now vote in that district.
The voting house for the Neathery-Cave Springs precinct is located on North U.S. 127.
The Snow precinct will loose 10 voters during the next election with a previous number of voters at 510, and the new list of voters being 500.
For citizens voting in the South Albany precinct, with the voting location in the basement of the courthouse, the precinct will loose 75 voters bringing its total to 640 voters.
The district with the most change will come from the West Albany precinct, which will loose 125 registered voters come May.
The estimated number of voters in the West Albany precinct will change to 460 for upcoming elections, down from 585.
For the Highway precinct, a previous number of 612 voters previously voted at the voting house located on State Highway 1351, but now, will add 40 voters to its list for a total of 652 voters in that precinct.
North Albany, with a voting location at the Community Center on Cumberland Street, will acquire 85 more voters in the next election, bringing its total from 571 to 656 in May for the primary.
For those voting in the Speck precinct, an estimated 75 more voters will be registered to vote at the voting house located on Butler Ridge Road. That number was previously at 565 voters and will change to 640 for the May primary.
Illwill precinct is the final of the eight precincts that will be affected during the next election, losing 13 voters from its previous number of 564 voters. Now, Illwill has an estimated 549 registered voters who will vote at the voting house located on Cedar Hill Road.
“This is all really new to me,” Booher said. “It was started back in 2010.”
When the census takes place every 10 years, it allows lawmakers to look at areas within the state in order to purpose a redistricting plan if necessary.
Booher said her office staff will be on hand for any questions regarding a voting location change and she said letters will be sent out once everyone has been changed who needed changing.
“When I change the precincts on these addresses, I’m going to send out a letter to notify them of the change,” Booher said.
Booher said if anyone had an issue with the change of precinct to contact the legislation or local government.
“The last day of January was the last day to get the maps in,” Booher said. “We are going to try and get everyone moved in the next two weeks. Anyone can call the clerks office if they have any questions.”
Also, in the County Clerk’s Office, will be a map displaying the new boundaries for each precinct and Booher urges people to come by her office and take a look at the map in order to determine where the changes are being made this year.
“Some of Wisdom Dock Road is changing,” Booher said. “Some of it is going to Speck and some of it is going to West (Albany). It just depends on which side of the road you live on.”
Delayed realignment of legislative districts resulted from an initial realignment being declared unconstitutional by the Kentucky Supreme Court. The apparently legal realignment was done during a special session of the General Assembly in August.
On January 26, House Republicans filed suit against the Democrats’ chamber map. The GOP lawmakers argued that the plan unnecessarily divided counties. The approved plan split four more counties than the Republican alternative.
On January 30, Senator Kathy Stein (D) joined the lawsuit, challenging the Senate redistricting plan. She contended that the changes to her district disenfranchised Lexington voters.
Over the summer of 2013, during a five-day special session of the Kentucky General Assembly, a final redistricting bill was passed in August 2013.
The House voted 79-18 to approve and the Senate had passed it at 35-2. It was signed by Gov. Steve Beshear in August 2013. In November 2013, a federal court affirmed the legality of the districting lines. As of March 10, 2014, no parties have filed litigation against the new redistricting lines.
The halting of the legislative realignment directly halted all realignments in Kentucky, thus causing the delay in setting the magisterial districts until now.
Booher said she hopes she can get all this sorted out and in place in plenty of time before the May primary.