Jackson County puts redistricting plans on public display

Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 5:41 PM CDT
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PASCAGOULA, Miss. (WLOX) - As next year’s county election cycle gets closer, so do plans for redistricting based on the 2020 census.

Jackson County took its turn Wednesday, putting its drafts on public display.

The reason for redistricting is pretty clear to everyone. It’s to make government representation fair.

How to achieve that is up for debate.

“I do understand the need for redistricting because of population shifts,” said Moss Point resident Phyllis Matthews. “But I think we ought to put it on the table fairly.”

Matthews would like to see more draft versions presented because she is skeptical for historical reasons.

“There might be a sub-current that is sweeping the country with redistricting the United States with the effort to disenfranchise, or shut down, the minority vote, particularly the Black vote,” she said.

Tieara McPherson came to the hearing for a really good reason.

“My mom told me to because I usually try to keep my thoughts to myself,” she said with a laugh.

She made her points clear at the meeting.

“You did all this work that you paid these lovely people to do, then why don’t we have those options here?” she asked the board.

McPherson, like several others who crowded the room, is concerned about district lines that break up communities, like the proposal to extend Ward 2 into part of Gautier.

“You can move the vertical lines different ways to tweak the population,” she said. “And that would be something we all suggested in there. So, you’re not splitting Vancleave into three ways and you’re not poking a hole out of Gautier.”

Supervisor Randy Bosarge said everyone will feel the pain of adjustment, including himself.

“It’s going to be a little challenging for all of us,” he said. “But, at the same time, we’re going to look into this thing. We’re going to figure how we can try to make some changes. And yeah, my goal is to have another public hearing to get some more input on this.”

The board is hoping to have plans finalized before November and take effect on Jan. 1, 2023.

CLICK HERE to see the redistricting draft for supervisors and election commissioners.

CLICK HERE to see the redistricting draft for justice court judges and constables.

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