Editor’s Note: The following announcement comes from Hennepin County.
As a result of the recent redistricting process throughout Minnesota, registered voters in Hennepin County are currently being mailed cards indicating their new polling places and district information for all elected offices.
Minnesota law requires that congressional, legislative, county and some local district boundaries be redrawn every 10 years following each census. The current redistricting was based on 2010 census data. Using that data, the redistricting process ensures that districts from which officials are elected are essentially equal in population.
Because of redistricting:
- Congressional, legislative, county and some local district boundaries have changed.
- Residents’ elected officials may have changed.
- Residents’ polling places may have changed as well.
The special postcards are being sent to all registered voters (approximately 700,000) in Hennepin County. Voters will first go to the polls under the new redistricting for the state primary Aug. 14. Voters don’t need to bring the card when they vote.
Prior to this year’s redistricting, the seven Hennepin County commissioners represented districts of approximately 160,000 residents each. According to the latest census, there are now 1.15-million people in Hennepin County. Divided among seven districts, that sets the new population for representation in each district at 164,632. Based
on this figure, the lines for several county commissioner districts changed, including:
- Crystal and New Hope – previously split between the 1st District (Commissioner Mike Opat) and the 2nd District (seat currently vacant after Commissioner Mark Stenglein left to become president and CEO of the Minneapolis Downtown Council) – will now be entirely within the 1st District.
- The 1st District will no longer include parts of Minneapolis.
- The 3rd District (Commissioner Gail Dorfman) now includes downtown Minneapolis.
- The 5th (Commissioner Randy Johnson) and 6th (Commissioner Jan Callison) districts changed little.
- The 7th District (Commissioner Jeff Johnson) grew the most in population of all the districts.
As a result of redistricting, three districts – the 1st, 2nd and 7th – will require elections next fall. Three of the districts – 5th, 6th and 7th – were already on the ballot due to expired terms. The 3rd (Dorfman) and 4th (Commissioner Peter McLaughlin) districts do not require elections until 2014. So five of the seven commissioners will be on the ballot next fall.
Residents who did not receive redistricting cards may need to update their voter registration and submit a new voting application.
Information on Hennepin’s redistricting process, registering to vote, absentee voting, and a sample ballot is available on the Hennepin County website – www.hennepin.us/elections – or contact Rachel Smith, Hennepin County elections manager, at Rachel.firstname.lastname@example.org.