City voting lines shifted to even north, south wards

Published 11:42 am Wednesday, April 11, 2012

New aldermanic wards were approved unanimously Tuesday after no one opposed a plan to shift about 900 people from the South Ward to the North.

“When you look at this plan, this is the easiest way to do it, with clean (boundary) lines,” South Ward Alderman Sid Beauman said after he and North Ward Alderman Michael Mayfield and Mayor Paul Winfield voted to extend the North Ward south in the middle of the city — from the current Bowmar Avenue boundary to Polk Street and west to the Mississippi River. “This plan is as clean as we can get.”

The approval came after a public hearing on the redistricting plan prepared by the Central Mississippi Planning and Development District.

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Two voting precincts are affected by the move, No. 7 Fire Station on Washington Street and the American Legion Hall on Monroe Street.

City officials were forced to redraw the ward lines because the South Ward’s population increased by 1,882 people, according to the 2010 Census.

CMPDD planner David Wade, who prepared the map, said the plan will be sent to the U.S. Department of Justice, which must approve the plan. He said the DOJ review takes about 60 days, adding, “You should get the approval in time to notify the people who are affected well before qualifying begins for Jan. 1.”

Qualifying for summer elections begins Jan. 1.