Adjustments after census off until 2015

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Census forms will be coming to most Warren County addresses next week, but any adjustment in voting districts won’t be made until 2015.

An election based on new information from the Census Bureau during the 2011 cycle would be “physically impossible” given the traditional qualifying deadline, District 5 Supervisor Richard George, board president, said. 

The primary purpose of the national census is to equalize voting districts from the U.S. House to local constables and school board membership.

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Central Mississippi Planning and Development District, a regional planning authority of which Warren, Copiah, Hinds, Madison, Rankin, Simpson and Yazoo are members, has processed past census numbers into district lines for local elections and likely will again.

After adoption, any changes in the lines must be submitted to the U.S. Department of Justice for review and approval.

Receipt of data in this year’s count might coincide with the usual March 1 qualifying deadline for 2011 elections statewide, meaning there will be no time to apply the new information to existing maps.

No major population shifts inside the county are expected to be shown by this year’s census.

Warren County District 1, represented on the Board of Supervisors by David McDonald since 1999, lost about 1,000 people and 11 square miles after the 2000 Census, mostly to the immediate east of the city limits. The line was moved to ensure District 2 could be redrawn to ensure minority voting strength and comply with Section 5 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which makes dilution of minority voting strength illegal. Warren County has three white majority districts and two black majority districts used in supervisor and school board elections. The county is divided into three districts for justice court judge and constable elections and one of them has a black majority.

According to the most recent census data, Warren County is rare among all counties in America in that there is no racial majority here. Blacks and whites are almost evenly split and other races make up about 3 percent of the total population.

Contact Danny Barrett Jr. at