HINTON, WV (WOAY) – Meetings on matters for redistricting are taking place across the state as counties figure out where their new district lines are being drawn to help keep their communities together. And county commissioners in Summers County is holding a special workshop session at their commission office discussing just that.
“What we have been given to us by the state is new House redistricting and what it’s doing is splitting Summers County,” says Charles Saunders, President of Summers County Commission.
The county will now be dividing up into two distinct districts, one combining with Monroe and the other combining with Mercer and Raleigh counties. And while the goal is keeping the voting communities together, this division is creating some problems for the people in Summers County, as some of the new districts are lining up in ways that are less than ideal for the people living in them.
“We have one precinct that is separated by the New River and there’s no way for these people to get to the new district they would need to be in within Monroe County,” he explains.
But, to help even out the playing field, the commission is working on separating these districts in ways that will be more ideal for the people there, which could mean having to combine districts to prevent new ones from having to be added.
“Because of the population shifts, what they have done is separated Summers County, but some counties aren’t separated at all so it doesn’t create a problem for them,” Saunders says.
West Virginia lost one of its three congressional seats after the 2020 census, causing bigger changes to the break-up of districts and making the whole redistricting process more important than ever before. For more information on the statewide redistricting process, you can visit wvlegistlature.gov.