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Jefferson County Won't Appeal Redistricting Ruling

Jefferson County Courthouse
Michael Rivera via wikimedia commons

The Jefferson County Commission appears ready to revise its municipal borders rather than appeal a federal court ruling.  For the first time, a judge has ruled against a municipality including prisoners in its local districts.

At an emergency meeting Monday evening, the five member county commission voted to begin drafting new borders.  A federal court found fault with including inmates in the population of a local district when those prisoners don’t have a voice in local politics.  The judge gave the county just over two weeks to complete a new district map.  Commissioner Betsy Barfield is confident the county can comply with the order, but she worries about finding common ground with the school board.

“I feel the county commission of Jefferson County will be able to draw their lines—draw our lines by April fourth,” Barfield says.  “I’m not so sure we’re going to be on the same page with the school board and that will be contentious—that meeting.”

In recent years redistricting has been a source of friction, but historically Jefferson County’s school board districts have mirrored those of county commissioners.

Nick Evans came to Tallahassee to pursue a masters in communications at Florida State University. He graduated in 2014, but not before picking up an internship at WFSU. While he worked on his degree Nick moved from intern, to part-timer, to full-time reporter. Before moving to Tallahassee, Nick lived in and around the San Francisco Bay Area for 15 years. He listens to far too many podcasts and is a die-hard 49ers football fan. When Nick’s not at work he likes to cook, play music and read.