Commissioners take look at district lines
The Morgan County Commission will address plans to redistrict the county magisterial districts. The issue is on the agenda for discussion and action at their Friday, May 4 meeting.
The redistricting question arose when County Commissioner Tommy Swaim unknowingly moved out of Magisterial District 3, which he represents, and into Magisterial District 2 when he built a new home a few miles south of where he had previously lived. Swaim's new home is around 200 yards from his original district, he said.
The commissioners wanted to address the redistricting issue so there is no confusion over who can run and who can't run for office in the next county election, said Swaim.
County Commissioner Glen Stotler represents Magisterial District 2 and is up for reelection next year. County Commissioner Brenda Hutchinson represents Magisterial District 1.
Each of the three commissioners is supposed to represent one of the three magisterial districts into which Morgan County is divided.
There are two options being considered. Both moves would place Swaim's new home and property and other chunks of Magisterial District 2 into Magisterial District 3.
In the first option, some 50 households would be moved from Magisterial District 2 into Magisterial District 3. The second proposed option would move 102 homes from Magisterial District 2 into Magisterial District 3.
Stotler and Swaim both prefer the first option was better since it would affect fewer people. Their discussion and action at this Friday meeting will determine which option is chosen.
Magisterial District 1 has 3,346 registered voters, Magisterial District 2 has 3,675 registered voters and Magisterial District 3 has 3272 registered voters.
Swaim felt the redistricting change would even out the number of voters in each district more, but couldn't say how many actual voters would be affected.
Swaim has a legal opinion from the prosecuting attorney stating that he can serve out his term despite his move into another district.
Discovering that his new home was in the wrong district was like an arrow through his heart, he said.
Swaim has no intention of running for County Commissioner again, but has three years and nine months left in his term.
If the County Commission approves the redistricting plan, they will draw up and publish the redistricted magisterial maps and serve legal notice in the newspaper about their intentions. A public hearing on the redistricting plans will also be scheduled.