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Demopolis district lines up for debate

The Demopolis City Council intends to submit a redistricting proposal to the justice department soon, bringing an end to months of work to update the city’s district lines.

“We are trying to come up with an agreed upon plan. We’ll discuss it again at the meeting next week,” Councilman Thomas Moore said. “It has been requested that we get four or five different options designed by a guy named Craig Remington at the University of Alabama. We’ll decide from those five plans of the one to send to the Justice Department.”

The discussions began after the release of the latest census numbers, which reflect shifts in the local population caused in part by the construction of new subdivisions such as Edgemont on the west side of town.

“A number of people have moved into those houses. To ensure the one man, one vote rule, it must be determined if in fact the numbers have shifted since the 2000 census,” Moore said. “It is our desire to ensure that each vote counts the same.”

Moore said the council is aiming to submit a proposal soon to avoid any confusion in the coming election cycle.

“My desire is not to have an election when the district lines are pending because if someone were to contest it, we’d have to have another election,” Moore said.

The city council is allowed to submit its proposal as close as 90 days from the election date. Moore said he and his fellow councilman would like to provide voters and potential candidates as much time as possible.

“Ninety days out is a reasonable amount of time before the election. I would hope we’d have it done and have an answer back by then,” Moore said.

One of the possibilities that exists with redistricting is that a current city councilman could be drawn into another district. Moore said he believes that will not be a problem for the Demopolis City Council as it goes through the process of redistricting.

“I just think there is a gentleman’s agreement among us that will keep the incumbents in their respective districts,” Moore said. “There is no law to that effect, but I think that is how we will handle that.”