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New political district lines & impact on local elections will be subject of Nov. 17 meeting

by Kate Shunney

County and local election officials have set a public meeting for November 17 to get a handle on how political redistricting at the state level will change Morgan County’s magisterial districts, voting precincts and polling places in the 2022 election cycle.

The meeting will take place at 1 p.m. in the County Commission meeting room in the Morgan County Courthouse.

County Clerk Kim Nickles told Morgan County Commissioners there were multiple issues to work out related to the new district lines.

West Virginia House of Delegates district map showing Morgan County’s location in respect to new district lines.

As of October 22, West Virginia has new political lines carving up the state into State Senate districts, House of Delegates districts and Congressional districts.

Work to redistrict the state came about after the 2020 Census data was released, showing shifts in population inside the state and a loss of state residents to other areas.

West Virginia’s population loss meant the loss of a Congressional district, so that residents will now vote for only two members to serve in  the U.S. House of Representatives rather than three.

State lawmakers also had to reset political boundaries due to a bill passed that created 100 single-member House of Delegates districts inside the state.

Morgan County voters and politicians will be affected by the changes, and election officials must prepare for the new district lines. The lines will change who is eligible to run for certain political offices at the state level, and may change voting precincts inside the county.

Boundary lines for State Senate District 15 have changed, but still incorporate all of Morgan County. Berkeley Springs Republican Charles Trump IV holds the State Senate seat for the 15th district.

The shape of existing House of Delegates districts 58 and 59 changed more substantially. Morgan County is now in Districts 89 and 90, with the western portion of the county in District 89 along with the large portion of Hampshire County. The central, northern, southern and eastern portions of Morgan County are in District 90. New lines will impact the eligibility of Republicans Ken Reed (59) and George Miller (58) to run for seats in the House in 2022.

New district lines will take effect in the 2022 election cycle.

Comprehensive lists of maps approved by the West Virginia Legislature in different file formats can be found on the Legislature’s website:

House maps: https://www.wvlegislature.gov/Districts/2020/housemaps.cfm

Senate Maps: https://www.wvlegislature.gov/Districts/2020/senatemaps.cfm.

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