Haakon County Commission districts realigned

Some Haakon County residents will be heading to the polls in new locations as the Haakon County Commission outlined new districts last Tuesday, December 27.
Every 10 years, following the U. S. Census, states, counties and cities have to adjust their voting districts and precincts if the population has shifted. Each area must reflect as equal of a representation as possible, below a 10 percent deviation from the ideal for total population and for total voting age population. The ideal is each district being the same number of residents.
The current set-up showed a 50.38 percent deviation in total population and 62.13 percent for voting population. In November the Central South Dakota Enhancement District, of which Haakon County is a member, sent the commission six options. At the request of the commission two more options were made.
The board discussed the options at their year-end meeting and then held a public hearing on the issue that evening. Of the eight options, none met the board’s approval. While all but one met both percentages, they made odd or unwieldy districts. Some options left a commissioner out of a district, putting two commissioners in one district.
At the hearing, Al Haugen, from CSDED, worked with the board to come up with a workable layout. With this option the total population deviation is 5.68 percent and for the voting age population, 7.31 percent.