Discussion is continuing on a proposed re-precincting plan for Clinton County.
A public hearing on the plan was held at 10 a.m. on Monday, during the Clinton County Board of Supervisors meeting. No members of the public attended the meeting and supervisors reported they had received only a few comments before the meeting.
The county is considering reducing the number of precincts from 30 to 26. The precincts that would be combined would be Hampshire and Elk River/Andover; Olive/Calamus and Grant; Washington and Welton/Welton; Bloomfield/Delmar and Brookfield; Camanche and Eden Township. Low Moor would be made into its own precinct. County Auditor Eric Van Lancker and Supervisor Jill Davisson have been working on these plans to make the election process more efficient and more cost effective.
Two weeks ago, informal public meetings were held in Clinton and Delmar. Van Lancker said most of those attending the meetings supported the re-districting. Precinct election officials also supported the plan in a meeting. Davisson was also pleased with the support from those who did attend the meetings.
Supervisor Brian Schmidt applauded Van Lancker for taking the initiative to become more efficient, while trying not to hinder a person’s right to vote. He said he would like to hear more feedback from county citizens.
Schmidt said he is still unsure if he is in favor of the change. Once the decision is made, the county would not be able to change districts again for 10 years. He said they need to be conscious of how the county makes voting available. He said he understands one of the main issues is the difficulty of getting people to work in certain precincts.
Van Lancker said even if the county did not decide to change precincts, Eden Township and Low Moor will still need to be separated due to the change in the House districts. Schmidt asked if the board could decide to approve only a portion of the redistricting plan.
Van Lancker said making any changes to the plan would most likely cause the county to miss the Oct. 14 deadline with the Iowa Secretary of State's Office and he would need to get an extension.