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A new map laying out magistrate districts passed by the Oldham County Fiscal Court in 2011 will finally go into effect this year.
Every 10 years, the maps that dictate district boundaries for elected officials, from Congress down to local governments, are reviewed and revised as needed. The process usually takes place six months to a year after the latest U.S. Census data is released and goes into effect during the next election cycle.
The main reason why Oldham County’s new magistrate districts are just now going into effect is because redistricting at the state level was delayed, Adam Forseth with the Kentuckiana Regional Planning & Development Agency (KIPDA) said.
“Everything was frozen,” Forseth said.
KIPDA played a facilitator role in helping the Fiscal Court determine new boundaries, Forseth said. A committee initially drew a new map and presented it to the Fiscal Court to amend or approve, he said.
The Fiscal Court ended up making a few changes to the committee’s plan, but made no major changes across the county, Magistrate JD Sparks, the court’s point person on redistricting, said.
The biggest changes came in excluding the county’s prison populations from the districts, Sparks said. Other changes include splitting the La Grange and Brownsboro areas up between multiple magistrates.
“But I consider that a bonus,” Sparks said of the splits. “It means you have more people to advocate for you on Fiscal Court.”
Sparks said the redistricting maps at the Fiscal Court level don’t factor in political party when counting voters, unlike state and federal maps, to try and play political games either. No magistrates were moved out of their current districts either, he said.
A few neighborhoods were moved from one district to another and Sparks encouraged voters to check which district they are in with the county clerk before the May primary.
“I want people to be aware of who they are voting for,” Sparks said.
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