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Council continues work on redrawing of new Demopolis voting districts

The Demopolis City Council continues to work on a new district map.

A brief special called meeting was held Thursday morning, which featured Dr. William Stewart, a political expert and University of Alabama professor emeritus of political science.

He has been hired by the city to help with redistricting. He previously worked with the council on the 1992 district map, and the council with the advise of Stewart and City Attorney Rick Manley has decided to make more changes to the map than originally planned.

Stewart is being brought in because of his expertise in dividing specific population blocks. He began to make a count of population in specific areas Thursday and will work through the weekend. The district map must be balanced by population and racial makeup.

Stewart will give the data to Craig Remington, cartographic laboratory director with the University of Alabama Department of Geography.

Once Remington prepares a new map, the council will meet again.

A public hearing will be held on the version of the map the council approves, Manley said.

The city must have a map approved by the U.S. Justice Department by July 1, the first day for qualifying for the August 24, 2004 municipal elections,