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Commission approves set of boundary line changes

The Inter-Mountain photo by Edgar Kelley Randolph County Clerk Brenda Wiseman speaks to the county commission and shows a map of changes made to the county’s magisterial districts and precinct boundaries during Thursday’s meeting.

ELKINS — The Randolph County Commission voted unanimously Thursday to approve changes regarding the magisterial district and precinct boundaries for the county.

Every 10 years the state and county have to consider county redistricting when the new census comes out, officials said. If redistricting to the magisterial lines and precincts are needed, then changes are made.

However, in this case, because members of the West Virginia House of Delegates approved a new delegate district map back in October of this year, changes were needed to Randolph County’s magisterial district and precinct boundaries.

“This year when they changed the House of Delegate lines, they basically put the House of Delegates line right down the middle of Randolph County,” Randolph County Clerk Brenda Wiseman explained. “Before there was only a little portion that was different, we were all in No. 43 and only Pickens was in No. 44. That was the only precinct that was different. Our population in Randolph County didn’t change that much, but with them changing that line for the House of Delegates, that is the reason this had to be done.”

Wiseman said some of the boundaries in several of the precincts have changed, but it only affected about six or seven precincts.

“You may have to go to a different precinct to vote than you did before,” she said. “We will be mailing everybody that is affecting a new voter registration card with a letter explaining why this was done.”

Wiseman said that, considering how many voters there are in the county, not many will be affected.

“It’s only going to affect around 1,200 voters and we have about 18,000 voters,” Wiseman said. “We are still going to have our same 27 precincts. We didn’t have to add any precincts or take any precincts away, but it’s just the lines in a couple of precincts had to be moved.”

She also said the county is making every effort to ensure everyone is well aware of the upcoming change.

“We’ve put notices in the newspaper, notices on the courthouse doors, and also in the districts,” Wiseman said. “We had to put notices up for 14 days that we were going to do this. I haven’t received any calls or complaints to my office about anything.”

Census data is used to help make sure there is an even population in each of the districts. Landmark Forestry worked with the assessor’s office to put together the changes to the map.

“We need to get all this done before the filing period starts on Jan. 10,” Wiseman said. “Because when you file for office you need to know what district you’re in. Like the county commission and the board of education.”

Commissioners David Kesling, Chris See and Chris Siler voted unanimously on the changes. The next Randolph County Commission meeting is scheduled for Dec. 16.

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