Florala to redistrict before election

Published 12:02 am Thursday, June 16, 2011

The results of the 2010 Census show that Florala must redistrict prior to the next municipal election.

City council members agreed in April to allow the Southeast Alabama Planning and Development Commission to determine if the newest U.S. Census numbers show a shift in population within the voting districts.

There are currently five voting districts in Florala, each with a single representation on the city council.

SEARP&DC representative Andy Windham said the shift in population numbers was enough to warrant redistricting.

“What it shows is that there is some adjusting that needs to be done,” Windham said. “Basically, the reason you have to do this is that (the population difference) can’t be more than 10 percent for each district.

“It goes back to one person, one vote,” he said. “You want everyone’s vote to count for the same.”

Windham said that some council districts will “enlarge, while others shrink, but the boundaries will move based on population numbers. For example, district one is your heaviest populated district, and five is the least populated. So, five should absorb some of the difference.”

Windham said SEARP&DC will draw up three redistricting options for the council.

“But, whatever option you choice will have to get approval from the Justice Department,” he said.

Once the redistricting is finalized, the city will be required to notify residents of their voting districts.

The next election will be held Aug. 28, 2012.