The West Virginia Legislature’s Joint Committee on Redistricting conducted a public hearing at Chief Logan State Park Thursday evening.
The hearing was a chance for members of the public to voice their opinions concerning district boundary lines for state and federal elected offices.
The purpose of a hearing was to gain public comment based on the 2020 U.S. Census.
The West Virginia Constitution requires Congressional and Legislative boundaries to be determined every ten years, but data collected last year during the U.S. Census has not been officially presented to the 50 states. Committee Chairman Senator Charles Trump said final data from the census may not be available until the end of September.
A lack of data prevented any sample maps of what the districts may look like from being produced.
A total of fourteen residents took advantage of their five-minute allotted times to address the committee. Most of the speakers expressed frustrations over Logan County communities being divided by district lines.
“We want to vote for our delegates,” said Becky Nagy.
A resident representing the Holden and Whitman area, Nagy said she is one of many in the county that live in District 20 of the House of the Delegates. The twentieth is represented by Mingo resident Nathan Brown.
“I called Nathan Brown and talked to the gentleman,” Nagy said. “I like him. He’s a very nice man, but I told him I want to go back to Logan County.”
Reverend Michael Pollard said Logan and coalfield counties have carried the state for long enough and deserve better.
"We've held this state up as far as I'm concerned with our coal and coal severance," Pollard said. "We deserve the best redistricting and it shouldn't just be about the numbers."
The listening tour of the committee kicked off Tuesday in Putnam County. A total of twelve stops have been scheduled. The committee will next be stopping in Beckley at the Tamarack on Tuesday, August 3
The public is encouraged to submit ideas for state redistricting online. Proposals can be presented by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
PHOTO | AM Stone WVOWRadio.com