The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

February 29, 2012

For the first time in decades, residents see change in voting districts

By Jean Cole

— About 500 Athens voters and a handful of Limestone County voters will cast ballots in once district during the March 13 primary election and in another district during the Nov. 6 general election.

They won’t be moving between those elections, but their voting district lines will, according to one Limestone County official.

Every 10 years, cities, counties and school boards nationwide are required to redraw voting district lines — a process called redistricting — to ensure equal representation.

Limestone County Board of Registrars Chairman Lee Liveoak announced Jan. 20 redistricting for Limestone County had been completed.

“Registrars have completed changes to the voter data,” Liveoak said. “More than 30,000 voter-identification cards are in the process of being mailed to all voters who have had a change in their County Commission district or state school board district.”

Recipients should sign the card and keep it.

“It can be used as identification at the voting place,” Liveoak said. “Do not return the card unless there is an error in the name or address.”

Although redistricting is done, Liveoak said changes for the Limestone County school board and for the city of Athens were not made to the current voter list because the Department of Justice has not yet approved their redistricting plans. As a result, voters will vote in the old school board districts and City Council districts for the March 13 primary election. However, Liveoak said school board and city redistricting changes would be incorporated in the voter lists in time for the Nov. 6 general election.

“There will be about 500 city voters who will vote in District 2 in the (March 13 presidential preference primary) and in District 5 in the (Nov. 6) general election,” Liveoak said.

A few Limestone County voters will cast ballots in the District 6 school board race during the primary election and in the District 7 school board race during the general election, he said. Voters would be notified of any change in their voting district beforehand.

Polling places — the place where voters go to cast their ballots — will not change for the upcoming elections.

The municipal election, in which voters elect a mayor and other city officers, will be Aug. 28.