City approves redistricting plan
Published 1:07 pm Wednesday, December 14, 2022
NATCHEZ — The Natchez Board of Aldermen approved a plan presented to them Tuesday to redraw the city’s ward lines, which is required by the federal government because of population shifts in the city shown in the 2020 U.S. Census.
All but sixth ward Alderman Dan Dillard voted in favor of the redistricting plan. Dillard was not present at Tuesday morning’s meeting.
Tommie Carden, an attorney with Butler Snow of Jackson, was hired to help the city redraw those lines in a way that follows the federal guidelines.
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The law requires that ward boundaries be redraw if the total deviation of population in those wards deviate more than 10 percent from the new census numbers. The city’s population deviation within its wards prior to adopting this new plan was 14.63 percent. After the redistricting, the city’s deviation falls to 6.81 percent.
Ward boundaries were redrawn to shift population from Wards 3 and 6 to Wards 1, 2 and 5. Ward 4’s population numbers were “just about ideal,” Carden said.
He said the city’s ward boundaries are actually written into the city’s charter, as are its polling places. Because of that, the ordinance approved changes the charter, which requires the approval of the governor and the attorney general. Carden said he and his firm would walk the city through those steps.
Maps of the new ward boundaries are located in the Natchez City Clerk’s office. Those with questions about what ward they live in or if their ward number was changed, can visit the city clerk’s portion of the city’s website — natchez.ms.us — and see the FAQ links.