Information Campaign Informing Biloxi Voters Of Redistricting Changes - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

01/09/04

Information Campaign Informing Biloxi Voters Of Redistricting Changes

Annexations and populations shifts have created new political lines in cities across South Mississippi.

Now one coast city has begun educating its voters about the changes.

This week thousands of Biloxi residents will receive voter information guides.

So, what does this mean for both citizens and candidates?

Mike Fitzpatrick says redistricting means even long time politicians like himself are having to reintroduce themselves to voters.

Biloxi's current Ward five councilman is campaigning for the hearts of people of the new Ward four.

"It's very diverse especially when you take a look at the Bay Vista Area, Ancient Oaks, and some of Sunkist," Fitzpatrick said.

"There is a lot of retired military and a lot of senior citizens. Going back the other way it's just the opposite with a lot of young people," he added.

Voter information guides are just the first step in Biloxi's campaign to get the word out about election changes.

Inside is a map detailing where the seven ward lines fall.

City leaders are also mailing out new voter registration cards.

Vincent Creel is the city's spokesperson.

"We're hoping that we can avoid any confusion. We're going to do everything that we can as a city to educate the residents on where to vote and when to vote. This is the first step in the process" Creel said.

As for Fitzpatrick, he's already making progress in getting to know some of his new constituents.

"I think that as a candidate you have to go door to door and meet the people because people in this district, especially, they want to see you face to face," he said.

Redistricting is changing the political landscape in other coast cities as well.

Gautier city leaders say that city will go from electing four to five council members.

Meanwhile Gulfport and D'Iberville are still waiting for approval from the Justice Department on their new ward lines.

By: Danielle Thomas

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