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Cerro Gordo supervisors approve temporary redistricting commission members

MASON CITY — The Cerro Gordo County Board of Supervisors this week approved appointing three members to a temporary redistricting commission that will adopt voting precinct borders for the rural parts of the county.

County Auditor Adam Wedmore says the purpose of these redistricting commission members is to review and then to draw the new county precincts. “The cities of Mason City and Clear Lake will draw their own precincts in conjunction with our office because they have more than 2000 residents in those towns, so they handle their own precincts.”

Wedmore says the law has changed so that the redistricting commission will not draw the new lines for each county supervisor district.  “That has changed. That is now going to be done by the Legislative Services Agency, which means that is purely handled by them in Des Moines, and those will be done by staffers, and their position is to look at it from an independent perspective of taking nothing existing into consideration as far as the current district boundaries, the current make-up of the board, the current addresses of the current members. They will draft those districts and then they will present those back to the board for your final adoption.”

While the state mandated deadline for counties to establish redistricting commissions is May 15th, Wedmore says those commissions won’t meet until later this fall because of the slow rollout of data from the US Census Bureau. “That won’t happen until this fall. We’ll have the initial data around August 16th and then we’ll have the final data around September 30th. Once that data is available, the Legislative Services Agency is going to focus initially on establishing congressional districts. After the congressional districts are established, then we’ll be able locally to establish our precincts. So the work of this temporary redistricting commission won’t start until fall of this year.”

With all three members of the supervisors being Republican, they were able to appoint two members to the commission while the county’s chair of the Democratic Party appointed the other member. Supervisor Tim Latham and Emily Peters will be joined by Rich Paxson on the commission. 

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