|Election Commission handling redistricting|
|Tuesday, April 10, 2012|
By PATRICK HALL
Plans to change Lebanon’s six City Council wards passed on second reading Monday night and are now in the hands of the Wilson County Election Commission as part of a larger redistricting process to send new voter registration cards to all registered voters.
Lebanon City Council passed on second reading an ordinance to realign the six aldermanic wards during a special called meeting Monday. The vote was 5-0 with Ward 6 Councilor Kathy Warmath absent from the proceedings.
Warmath was adamantly opposed to simply altering the existing wards during a work session last week.
Wilson County Administrator of Elections Phillip Warren said the changes to the wards are part of a countywide redistricting effort. Wilson County Commission in 2011 approved a redistricting plan, and the state and federal governments also approved redistricting plans this year.
Warren noted the City of Mt. Juliet approved redistricting of its City Commission boundaries on April 3.
“We’re redistricting the whole county,” Warren said. “Our job is to go street by street and get everyone in a new polling place.”
The new map that shows six slightly altered wards puts Ward 2 with 4,515 residents, making it the largest. Also, Ward 1 would become the second largest with 4,424 residents.
Wards 4, 5 and 6 would all be decreased in populations while Ward 3 would take an increase of 826 residents.
Warren said after they change polling places of residents who are affected, all registered voters would receive a new registration card in the mail sometime in May. He said Lebanon needed to approve their redistricting as soon as possible in order to include their changes with the other local plans.
“If we did their changes separately, the city would have had to pay,” Warren said.
Since all local voting districts have been reviewed along with changes to state and federal districts, Warren said the local governments avoid any costs associated with issuing new registration cards.