Redistricting work must focus on facts

Published 5:00 am Friday, September 6, 2002

The redrawing of political boundaries can be interesting times.Special interest groups with special agendas and their own selfinterests always appear on the scene to promote their specialcause. That is the purpose of public hearings — to allow publicinput — and it is our democratic process.

Lincoln County is in the middle of a redistricting process andsupervisors held a public meeting last night to receive publicinput and present a suggested plan based on federal guidelinesrequired under the Voters Right Act of 1965.

Such meetings can sometimes be contentious as comments are madeto drive home a point. Last night’s meeting was no exception ascomments suggested intimidation was being used in some areas todiscourage people from voting, and thus the need to adjust votingpercentages accordingly. The Daily Leader was even taken to task byWard 3 Alderman Jerry Wilson, who alluded to perceived inaccuraciesand indicated the newspaper may have provided misleadinginformation regarding the redistricting process.

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We are not sure of the basis of the comments because nospecifics were given, just innuendoes of what we guess is aconspiracy on our part. But we will stand behind the stories wehave written to date regarding the redistricting process.

We suggest that all parties stick to the facts at hand. Ifsomeone has proof of voter intimidation, then that evidence shouldbe turned over to the proper authorities. If we have erred in astory, we would like to know about what so we can make correctionsif necessary.

Lincoln County is mandated to redraw district lines because ofshifts in population over the past 10 years. It is an importantprocess and one that will affect the political make up of thecounty until 2010.