Answers to frequently asked questions about Shelby County redistricting

What is redistricting?

Redistricting is the process of redrawing boundaries for political offices to reduce differences in population between different districts. Most of the country’s redistricting
occurs every ten years following the Census.

Why are we redistricting?

Every 10 years, after the U.S. Census, Shelby County must re-establish the boundaries for The County Commission and School Board districts. The new districts must be balanced in population and follow traditional redistricting criteria in conformance with federal, state, and local laws. An Ad hoc committee was formed to review and recommend new boundaries for County Commission and School Board districts.

What will be redistricted?

“Shelby County, TN districts are divided as follows: 13 single-member Commission districts and 9 School Board districts. In addition, State and Federal districts (State House, State Senate, and U.S. House) will also be redrawn around the same time. However, the State is responsible for that redistricting process. Note: Redistricting for the School Board does not change school attendance zones.

Will Shelby County need to redistrict?

Shelby County’s population in 2010 was 927,644. We won’t know our 2020 population until the U.S. Census Bureau releases its official count. However, the 2019 estimate from the Census Bureau put us at around 979,544. On that basis, the target size for County Commission Districts would be about 71,519 residents, up from 71,357 in 2010. The target size for School Board districts will be approximately 82,00 residents per district.

How are new district boundaries determined?

Planners will use traditional redistricting criteria to identify new district boundaries. These criteria include:

  • Equal population
  • Geographic factors, such as compactness, contiguity, and historical continuity
  • Fulfilling the goals of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, which prohibits vote dilution of minority communities
  • Keeping other communities (such as neighborhoods with shared interests) together
  • Public review and input
When will redistricting happen?
  • In September, draft maps are being prepared and should be ready for public review around the second week of October. The Commission will post maps to the website for review, comment, and host virtual public meetings to allow the public to see the effect that different district boundaries have.
  • In October, The Ad hoc redistricting committee will provide updated and refined maps throughout the month
  • The adoption process will occur in late October. The County Commission will adopt new district lines by late November.
    How can I participate in redistricting?

    Opportunities to influence new districts will occur throughout the process:

    • After initial draft maps are published: Review maps online or attend a virtual community meeting. Meetings are scheduled for October 14th and October 23rd. Reach out to your commissioner or send your suggestions to the suggestion box at info@myshelbytndistricts.com.

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