(10/25/2001)
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," they said.

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.


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