Archive for Wednesday, January 23, 2002

County Commission approves changes to voting districts

January 23, 2002

Voting districts in Leavenworth County will have a different look in the next election.

On Jan. 17, the Leavenworth County Commission unanimously approved changes to the county's three voting districts, citing substantial growth in the county's southern portion as the main reason for redistricting.

"The fact of the matter was that (southern Leavenworth County) is developing faster than some other areas," Commissioner Joe Daniels said.

Daniels, who represents the third district, covering such areas as Basehor, Linwood and Tonganoxie, had to give up two voting precincts in Lansing because of the changes.

The two precincts in Lansing will now fall under the second district, represented by Commission chair Bob Adams. Adams was elected as chairman in early January.

With the redistricting, the entire city of Lansing falls under the second district.

Before the change, the third district had approximately 3,000 more voters than the other two districts. The third district now has approximately 765 less voters than the other districts, Daniels said.

"We're a little lower now, but that will probably all change with as many houses that are being built there," he said.

Based on the 2000 Census, there are 57,345 residents in Leavenworth County.

County officials said the redistricting evens out the voters to approximately 19,115 voters per district.

Another factor in the decision to redraw districts is the loss of population in the first district, which covers Leavenworth and much of northern Leavenworth County.

County officials said the first district has approximately 5,000 less people than it did 10 years ago.

"The thing is, Leavenworth has lost quite a bit of voters lately," Daniels said. "Nobody has been able to quite explain it, but that was something we had to take into consideration."

Discounted in the redrawing of the three voting districts were students at Saint Mary College in Leavenworth, personnel at the Fort Leavenworth Military Base, and prisoners at the Lansing Correctional Facility and Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary.

County officials said those people were excluded under the assumption that they maintain permanent residence elsewhere.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.