How long does it take to count?

Published 10:34 pm Monday, April 30, 2012

Anyone want to take the following bet?

We bet you the Selma City Council will draw and approve a new redistricting plan by the time the next Constitutionally-ordered Census is held in 2020.

Want to take that bet? To be honest, the odds on this bet are as good as the 50/50 odds you get by flipping a coin.

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For months the Selma City Council has waged a lethargic and increasingly delayed process to approve the new voting districts. With a hard and fast deadline — the date in which the plan must be submitted to the U.S. Department of Justice — mere weeks away, there is a growing concern a plan will not be approved.

If one is not approved in time, there is plenty of speculation of what may be the ramifications on the electoral process for the upcoming elections.

Selma city attorney Jimmy Nunn has worked to keep the council on a tight schedule with the hopes of making the late May deadline. But, the council does not appear to have a consensus on what plan to adopt.

Each council member — for one reason or another — has had problems with the redrawn lines at one point or another.

Those problems have been addressed as best they can, but there still remains questions about polling places, street placements and the like.

As background, the city must redraw the voting lines every ten years to reflect new population totals, and each ward must have roughly (within 5 percent plus or minus) the same number of residents.

Council members know this was coming down the pike for years.

If they didn’t, here’s a quick heads up; it’s going to happen again in another ten years.

It is disappointing the process to approve new voting districts has taken this long. It has been one met with a few heated arguments and public hearings, but mostly it has been a process met with inaction.

There is no doubt the process for redrawing voting districts is important. More than that, it’s crucial.

We are not saying such a process shouldn’t be methodical and well done, but we passed that level long ago.

Time has come for the council to move on.