Election panel finalizing voting precincts

Jan. 15—The Lauderdale County Election Commission is working to finalize the county's voting precincts ahead of the 2023 elections.

On Thursday commissioners met with the board of supervisors to discuss what is left to do. Commission Chairperson Gloria Dancy said the commission discovered some errors in the precinct boundaries and needs to make sure those are corrected before moving forward.

"In doing these precincts, we found some incorretions (sic) in those lines that were drawn," she said.

The board of supervisors previously hired Butler Snow LLP to assist with the redistricting process, and the law firm's cartographers have been working with the election commission to plot precinct boundaries. Dancy said commissioners want to meet with the firm again to make sure the lines are correct.

"We need to get back with him so that we can get these lines straight and get these precincts approved with you all," she said.

Although the board of supervisors has already approved new district maps for supervisors, justice court judges and constables, Circuit Clerk Donna Jill Johnson said the election commission needs to move swiftly to get the voting precincts set and notify voters.

"We have got to move thousands of voters in the computer, and we have to mail out thousands of cards," she said.

Board attorney Lee Thaggard said there might have been some confusion if Butler Snow was provided with outdated maps. Precinct changes can be made at any time, and the county may have provided the law firm with maps that did not include recent shifts.

"We changed some things over the past several years about changes to precincts," he said. I'm not sure what map they had."

Supervisor Jonathan Wells encouraged the commission to push forward with setting the precincts. The board and commission have worked well together in the past, he said, and there is no reason to believe there would be an issue signing off on any precinct changes that are made.

"We tend to work really well on that stuff and have in the past," he said. "I don't see there being a problem."

Wells invited commissioners to come back to the board of supervisors if they are unable to reach the cartographers or get the information they need.

Thaggard also said copies of the finalized supervisor, justice court judge and constable maps are available online at lauderdalecounty.org.