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Jackson City Council Must Redraw City’s Ward Maps Before 2025 Election

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Residents and activists packed into the Jackson City Council chambers to voice concern over the council’s plan to redraw the boundaries of the capital city’s seven wards, leaving standing room only at the June 17 meeting.

Ward 6 City Councilman Aaron Banks said the council decided to open the redistricting conversations up to the public this year, rather than work behind closed doors with consultants on how to redraw the maps as they had previously done.

“What we’ve done for the first time is have a public hearing,” Banks told the group. “If you go back and look, there has not been a public hearing. This time we wanted to do it a little differently.”

The June 17 public hearing followed two open special council meetings where the council publicly discussed and planned how they wanted to redraw the wards. They held the first meeting on May 28 and the second meeting on June 3 at the Central Mississippi Planning and Development District office in Pearl, Miss.

Community members were allowed to attend both meetings, which the City live-streamed on its Facebook page.

From those meetings, the council developed four map designs that could potentially be the city’s new ward boundaries. 

As residents filed into the council chambers on June 17, a few took a moment to analyze the four maps the council drew after their first two meetings.

During the public hearing, community members and voting-rights advocates stepped to the podium to voice concern that the council was rushing the process, adding that they didn’t think residents across the city had adequate time to participate.

‘These Maps Could Change Who Your Representative Is’

To comply with legal statutes, including the Voting Rights Act, the Jackson City Council must redraw—or redistrict—the boundaries of the city’s wards before the 2025 election to accurately reflect the wards’ populations.

“The principle of this is so that one person has one vote, and every vote

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