Towns need quickly to fix redistricting

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 17, 2004

The towns of Ferriday and Vidalia have not redistricted for at least 30 years, a fact that came to a head this year as both communities must put off their aldermen elections.

Who’s to blame for the oversight? Between the municipal officials who didn’t realize it and the state and federal agencies that didn’t notify them, it’s hard to say.

And it doesn’t really matter.

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What does matter is that both towns come up with a timely plan to rectify the problem &045;&045; and not to let it happen again.

Voters are now faced with a breakdown in the public service system. They deserve a timely, fair election process, and now they will have to wait months before another election can be held.

Both towns are already working on redistricting plans, based on the latest Census figures available.

We encourage the aldermen in both communities to complete their plans as quickly as possible, as fairly as possible, and without animosity.

The redistricting process can become a finger-pointing situation &045;&045; witness what happened in Mississippi two years ago and in Texas last year, when Democratic lawmakers opted to hide in other states to avoid having to make a decision on their own districts.

That shouldn’t be necessary here. We have two boards which should be able to make fair, quick decisions, keeping residents’ best interests in mind.