By Bob Weaver|
Calhoun's magisterial districts must be re-arranged because of changing
population within the county. The Calhoun Commission is charged with
moving the lines. At least three districts will be affected, Washington, Lee
and Sherman. Population has been growing in southern Calhoun.
Washington District must "lose" 156 people, which may be adjusted with Lee
District absorbing the population. Sherman District must lose 26.
In West Virginia suits are being filed over redistricting decisions made by
lawmakers in the West Virginia Legislature. The suits are to overturn
redistricting lines which residents regard as unconstitutional.
Roane County residents Don Yoak and Kenneth Yufer say the current plan
denies the one man, one vote rule. Senator Frank Deem was extremely vocal
against the plan which allowed Kanawha County to keep two overlying
districts and four senators.
Deem said "It is statistically impossible to design a constitutionally
acceptable redistricting plan" that allows Kanawha County to keep four
senators. Deem further contends it was a systematic plan to protect the
Kanawha senators and discriminate against other geographic regions.
Eleven residents in the eastern panhandle have also filed a lawsuit to
overturn the plan. They say the population levels in southern West Virginia
counties violates the one man, one vote principle. "One-third of the
population of West Virginia has been under represented by the Senate plan,"
Calhoun County, in a strange, narrow geographic configuration, now has a
senator who lives in Wheeling. Most political observers say such line
drawing is to protect certain senators or counties, keeping their higher
representation in tact.
Senate President Earl Ray Tomblin said he is not surprised about the
lawsuits. "Oh, there's always lawsuits," he said.