The Steuben County Legislature met on Monday, May 30 to talk about redistricting laws after legislators endorsed downsizing from 13 to 11 county districts.
If voters approve of the pending changes, this will be the most significant change in redistricting laws since 1984, when voters approved a change from a 34-member Board of Supervisors to a 17-member county Legislature.
Change in population affects weight of districts legislative votes
This change in population affects the “weight” that these districts are assigned to legislative votes.
Legislators considered dozens of options to make sure every resident was equally represented. They also made sure voters in all districts, urban and rural, were of equal standing.
Due to shifts in population centers during the past 10 years, seen in 2020 U.S. Census, the City of Hornell has experienced a declining number of residents while the Town of Erwin has seen a notable rise.
This is the first notable change in Steuben County’s legislative districts in the past 40 years. Residents are now expecting a public hearing set in June, followed by final approval and adoption by the Steuben County Legislature, subject to a public referendum in November.
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District lines one, three, five, and seven will see changes
District One will absorb the current legislative district in the towns of Dansville, Hornellsville, and Hartsville, and the current number of legislators assigned to both districts will maintain representation at three legislators.
District Three adds the Town of Bradford with representation remaining at two legislators and District Five also adds one town, Wayne, with representation remaining with one legislator. Lastly, District Seven added the town of Campbell as well as representation from another legislator.