SAN ANGELO – Tom Green County Commissioners will consider redrawing the four county precinct boundaries during their regular meeting Tuesday which could affect thousands of voters for the next decade.
Texas counties, like states, are tasked with redrawing political lines every ten years following the release of U.S. Census data.
Preliminary reports indicate census data shows that Pct. 3, the Grape Creek area, has grown by approximately 3,000 people in the last ten years while the northeast quadrant of the county, Pct. 1, including the Veribest area has lost population over the last ten years. Commissioners are charged with redrawing precinct boundaries to keep the population and minority percentages as equal as possible in each of the four precincts. For example, if there are 100,000 people residing in the county, the precinct boundaries should be drawn so each precinct has 25,000 people.
While changes to precinct boundaries in Tom Green County may seem trivial, the political reality of the county could have an impact for the next decade. The four County Commissioners and the County Judge are Republicans, as are all 27 of the elected officials in Tom Green County. Minority groups and party activist out of power could see the redrawing of precinct boundaries as political.
The court will recess the regular open session and convene a public hearing to receive public comment on redistricting the four commissioner precincts.
Following the open session, commissioners will "Consider and take possible action regarding one or more alternative plans for the redistricting of county election, justice of the peace, constables and County Commissioners Court precincts. The Court reserves the right to take any and all appropriate actions regarding the redistricting of Tom Green County political boundaries, including the acceptance of new boundaries for the justice of the peace, constables and Commissioners Court precincts, modification and any boundaries, and/or tabling the pending proposals for later consideration and/or action."
The Tom Green County Commissioners Court meets at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday morning, Nov. 9 in the court meeting room on the second floor of the Keyes Building downtown. The public hearing on redistricting is scheduled for 9 a.m.