The Hays County League of Women Voters will hold “Redistricting 101 and Hays County: Mapping San Marcos” webinars on Tuesday, Sept. 7, and Thursday, Sept. 9 from 6-8 p.m. The evening will lead off with an overview of redistricting and presentation of the current precinct map of Hays County.
That will be followed by interviews with community leaders while their Communities of Interest (COIs) are being mapped. COIs are communities with concerns and bonds that distinguish them from surrounding areas. They form the basic building blocks for redistricting.
Redistricting is done every 10 years, driven by the census. New boundaries are drawn for county precincts, and state and federal districts. The precincts and districts drawn now will be used for governance and elections until the year 2030.
Redistricting is quite vulnerable to manipulation. For example, with the advent of sophisticated computer programs, gerrymandering can be done with precision.
Voters can easily be divided up into amazingly precise voting blocs to accomplish whatever the line drawers dream of — often rendering citizens’ voices ineffective with respect to development, water needs, transportation, and other issues, simply because their communities are fractured by how the lines are drawn.
Hays County is one of the fastest growing counties in the nation. The presentation on redistricting will visually highlight the growth in the county as well as the demographics of that growth. Precincts will have to be redrawn, but how?
The Commissioners Court has sole authority to do the precinct drawing. They have appointed a Redistricting Advisory Commission (RAC) to advise the court. Due to the short timeline, the county has because of the delay of the census, the Hays League is continuing to conduct its own mapping work as a service to the county.
The Redistricting Working Group of the Hays County LWV will host two programs and mapping events on Tuesday, September 7 — Redistricting 101 and Hays County: Mapping San Marcos from 6-8 p.m. https://us06web.zoom.us/j/85789145039 and on Thursday, September 9 from 6-8 p.m. at https://us06web.zoom.us/j/83316151333.