Wednesday, December 1, 2021
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Comptroller: Keeping County Redistricting Honest Up To Citizens

The redrawing of voting maps for several Upper Cumberland counties has concluded but there are a few steps left in the process.

Tennessee Comptroller’s Office Director of Communications John Dunn said a county’s election commission will formally redraw the precincts and notify residents of changes. Dunn said they receive the changes but hold off on printing final maps until the state legislature completes its redistricting process.

He said they do not dispute map changes, that is up to residents.

“For gerrymandering or some other element of the redistricting process that might conflict with state law,” Dunn said. “That’s not a part of the review process, that’s left up to citizens, members of the public, other government officials who keep the county honest.”

Dunn said they do not look for these things during a review because each county’s election commission will do their due diligence assuring maps were drawn correctly. However, Dunn said they wait on the legislature because Tennessee Code does not allow voting precincts to split State Senate districts, and have to be sure the local election commission’s plan meets this condition.

He said if there was an issue with an issue with an approved map, that could be handled with litigation.

Dunn said that counties have multiple options for which expert they want to use for help during the map redrawing.

“We reach out to each county, all 95 and then they tell us whether they would like our assistance,” Dunn said. “Or whether they choose to use their CTAS consultant and then even some who have the expertise do it with their own, in-house GIS specialist.”

Dunn said that once maps are able to be printed at the comptroller’s office, three copies are made. He said one stays at the comptroller’s office, one goes to the state election coordinator and one stays in the county.

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