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Sunday, June 24, 2001
Last modified at 6:20 p.m. on Saturday, June 23, 2001
© 2001 - The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

City, county officials tackle redistricting


By DIRK FILLPOT
Avalanche-Journal

Legislators nationwide are going through the decade ritual of redrawing political lines to balance people's representation in government.

Government entities whose largest and smallest districts or precincts deviate from their median population by more than 10 percent must go through the process.

Redistricting applies to national, state and local offices.

Officials with the city of Lubbock and Lubbock County have begun their redistricting efforts after Census 2000 statistics show significant growth in their southwestern areas.

City officials are looking to complete their redistricting efforts before next year, said Craig Farmer, the city's managing director of planning.

"You've got to get it done early enough before the elections take place. You don't want it to distort the elections process," he said.

Redistricting can be tricky business, and such efforts can draw legal challenges. That is one reason the city opted to contract help from outside Lubbock, Farmer said.

"We just want to make sure that if there are challenges, we have the best people working on it. We're not experts on redistricting and redistricting law," he said. "Being outside experts, they have no preset opinions. I think they'll be objective and look at all reasonable requests."

Lubbock County and the Lubbock Independent School District are in the preliminary stages of redistricting. Also, the Texas Legislature is working on changing districts for state representatives, state senators and representatives to Congress.


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