New lines being drawn in city

Dec. 28—With the mid-term election in the books in Indiana, the attention turns to the municipal elections. Local officials say that before they can start the campaigning and filing for office the city precincts and council voting districts need to be adjusted.

"This is something we had to do and it is something we do each time there is a new census," said Washington Mayor Dave Rhoads. "It came down from the state. You are only allowed so much difference in population in the voting districts. We had three districts that had to be realigned. It's all about the census and with the new census it showed the voting population was different."

The needed changes to get the council districts back in line though will require the county to make adjustments to the voting precincts.

"After the census, the lines were way off, and when they moved some of lines, they split up the precincts," said Daviess County Election Clerk Lauren Milton. "I called the Indiana Election Division and they agreed the best way to do it was to move the lines to the precincts so that they also include the city council districts."

The shuffling of voters will not involve large numbers but officials say there will be changes coming to multiple locations.

"There aren't big problems but there are small adjustments," said Milton. "Part of Washington 10 will become Washington 9 and part of Washington 12 will become part of Washington 11, and part of Washington 6 will be part of 14."

Those small changes though will have people moving in and out of some current districts.

"We had to adjust District 2 which is precinct 6 and 12, by 35. Very minimal when you see what is done," said Rhoads. "District 4 was adjusted in precinct 10."

Besides the census induced changes, because the city annexed the Buffalo Trace Subdivision that will be added to city precinct 15.

"Since we annexed that we had to bring that in. There is no one there yet, but when someone moves in, they will be in District 1," said Rhoads.

The changes needed to be put into place quickly. Candidates can begin filing for city offices on Jan. 4.

"The deadline to have these lines finished is Jan. 31, so if someone files to run and they are in those small areas that are being changed we will inform them of that," said Milton.