Will Bell County redistrict after reviewing the 2020 Census data?

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BELL COUNTY, Texas – Bell County leaders learned Tuesday that redistricting is not necessary for the community because of the the data from the 2020 Census.

Now city leaders are left with the decisions of what to do now. 

In May, Bell County entered into an agreement with the City of Killeen, Temple and the Temple Independent School District to collaborate all redistricting efforts. Bickerstaff Heath Delgado Acosta, LLP Attorney and contractor Gunnar Seaquist presented the analyzed data to the Commissioners Court. 

“As a legal matter for legal purposes, as one person, one vote – the county is sufficiently in balance. It does not need to redistrict in order to bring the district in balance. It could take no action, and these districts will be in balanced,” Seaquist said. 

Seaquist shared with city leaders that the county falls under the ten percent deviation needed based on the 2020 Census data. He shared maps with the Census break down, and the legal process to follow if the county chooses to redistrict. 

“The overall population summary from the 2020 Census for the data. What this tells us is that, overall, the county has a total maximum deviation of 8.34 percent,” Seaquist said. 

City leaders also discussed the demographic layout to make sure the voting acts would not be violated if a decision to redistrict is made. They also discussed ways to avoid racial discrimination. 

“There is no cracking or packing under the current map,” Seaquist said. 

Bell County Judge David Blackburn says they revived the Census date later than usual – giving them a short timeframe to make a decision before the November deadline. 

Blackburn says the Commissioners Court will meet again on October 18th after analyzing the present date to decide if they will start redrawing precinct lines. 

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