The League of Women Voters chapter of Hopkinsville met Monday night via Zoom to discuss business and the program “Redistricting in Kentucky: Let’s Build Fair Maps with a Fair Progress.”
Hosted by Dee Preglisco, Kentucky LWV vice president and Susan Weston, member of the redistricting committee, LWV examined the 2010 Census data to share a reimagined redistricting of U.S Congress, Kentucky Senate and Kentucky House of Representatives districts for the upcoming election in 2022.
The finalized districts will be put into place until 2032, according to the LWVKY.
With the results of the census published every 10 years, redistricting takes place to make sure that districts represent the same population numbers and/or to adapt for the loss or gain of population.
Christian County constituents would see changes in governmental representation prominently in the Kentucky House of Representatives in the proposed map.
Currently, Christian County is divided into three districts with the city of Hopkinsville being caught between the Kentucky House districts eight and four.
In the proposed map of the Kentucky House districts, the district representing Hopkinsville would be centered around the city while stretching to Gracey, moving south alongside route 117 to I-24, down to Fort Campbell, heading north on route 115 to Pembroke then as further up to Fearsville.
Preglisco emphasised the importance of redistricting so that constituents elect their representatives rather than officials choosing their voters.
Redistricting can often assist voters learn about candidates, communication with representatives and have interests within the community be considered, explained Pregliasco.
Gerrymandering, the manipulation of electoral boundaries to favor one party over the other, can become an issue when redistricting, said Preglisco.
Unsure about the release date of last year’s census, the redistricting committee of the LWV is concerned about Kentucky Senate Bill 60 which moved the candidate filing deadline from the last Tuesday in January to the first Friday following the first Monday in January.
“If they haven’t redrawn the lines, nobody’s going to be able to file in whatever district they live in January of 2022,” said Preglisco.
The goal of these proposed maps are compact districts, simple lines, county seats and the indifference to incumbents.
The compact districts proposed would allow for representatives to speak for areas within reach of each other, Preglisco continued.
Christian County is in district one in Kentucky’s Congressional districts. This district begins at Fullton County, spreads north to Henderson County, dips down to Allen County, curves up to Marion, heads east to Casey County and then back down to Clinton County.
“That’s the odd combination you’re trying to build representation and reputation with,” said Weston.
The proposed new district would be focused more on Western Kentucky and only go as far east as Breckinridge and Simpson County.
The LWV is encouraging Kentucky Citizens to look at the maps, get in touch with the League and communicate ideas or comments about the drawing of the new maps.
Weston also encouraged voters to get in touch with their legislators to motivate them to create an advisory committee.
Weston mentioned three key elements that would allow for a fair redistricting process; input, transparency and broad support.
Although the 2020 Census results may skew the proposed LWVKY maps, they plan to update their proposal with the reported numbers, detailed Weston.
The League is also asking for the public’s help asking legislators for a fair and transparent process. The public can call the Legislative Message Line at 1-800-372-7181.
The LWV Hopkinsville will meet on Feb. 8 to discuss Ezra Klein’s book, “Why we are Polarized”.
To see all current and proposed maps, please visit, https://www.lwvky.org.