The Williamson County Commissioners Court approved a new redistricting map for Justices of the Peace, Constables and Commissioners precincts. Counties are required to review the new census data to ensure the population is evenly distributed every ten years.
The 2020 United States Census showed Williamson County’s population to be 609,017, a growth of 44 percent since 2010. The requirement for redistricting is to allocate 25 percent of the population in each of the county’s four precincts with a 10 percent deviation allowed from this target of 152,000 people.
“In the past decade, Williamson County’s growth has been predominately focused on the west side of the county. Both precincts two and three were over the population target while precincts one and four needed more residents to make the precincts as even as possible,” said Precinct 3 Commissioner Valerie Covey.
Due to delays in the U.S. Census Bureau releasing 2020 Census data to the states for redistricting purposes, the timeline for undertaking redistricting in Texas was truncated this year. This delay had a ripple effect down to local governments. Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed the four state maps into law on Oct. 25, 2021, which limited Williamson County’s time to complete the necessary work to finalize its proposed changes. Precinct lines were drawn to evenly distribute the county population and to align with the four state drawn maps and census blocks. This is one of the reasons the county precinct lines are not always straight.
“In addition to an already short timeline, on November 2, Williamson County learned the deadline to submit new precinct boundaries to the secretary of state would be November 13, 2021. This new deadline shortened our timeline by a week and limited the amount of time we could receive public input,” explained Commissioner Covey. “Despite the compressed time, I appreciate all those that took time to comment on the proposed map.”
The Williamson County Commissioners Court also has approved changes to boundary lines of county election or voter precincts. In order to meet deadlines associated with the March 1, 2022, primary election, all commissioners courts must approve boundary line changes to election precincts no later than Dec. 30, 2021. Changes will take effect for elections on Jan. 1, 2022.
The view the new map, go to www.wilco.org/redistricting2021.