Officials vote to pass redistricting map

NOW: Officials vote to pass redistricting map

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- Both St. Joseph County commissioners and council members agreed on a revised redistricting map Tuesday, after months of controversy, surrounding equal representation within districts.

6 yeses and 2 no’s were made in favor of the newly drawn redistricting map. A vote many in Michiana have been waiting for since August.

“It’s very gratifying. To say I’m happy would be a major understatement because that’s what we really had wanted to do from day 1," said Council President Rafael Morton.

After months of discussions with input from residents regarding concerns about lumping minorities into one district — both commissioners and council members agreed this map represents what’s best for the community.

“In my opinion the maps are as fair as they probably could get under the circumstances and the guidelines you have to go by," said Morton.

Council member Corey Noland says the new map spreads out the dense population of minorities in Portage to other districts.

It also tightens up the competitiveness of District A — which includes Olive, Warren, and German townships.

“Different maps all along through this whole process have been skewed one way or the other, but I think it’s pretty evident that if you look at any prediction of this map here it’s as competitive as it could possibly be," said council member Corey Noland.

Despite the delays and the need for a meditator, Noland says finally reaching a solution to this process is eye opening.

“While obviously we needed somebody to get involved and get the parties together to get this compromise to happen at the end of the day it was 100% the council members and the commissioners that made the decision," said Noland.

Even with today’s votes an Elkhart county judge has to finalize the maps tomorrow and the lawsuit filed against the commissioners.

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