Logan County Clerk Scottie Harper wrote a letter to the fiscal court recently expressing his concerns about a “very timely issue,” he feels, needs attention from all representatives and senators in Frankfort immediately.
Harper told the magistrates in his letter, which was introduced at the Tuesday, Jan. 8 meeting of the fiscal court, that they were aware county government had to adjust district boundaries in 2011 under current laws. The population of these districts had to be within 10 percent of each other using the 2010 census numbers. These boundary changes were voted on in an ordinance form by the fiscal courts, therefore are now binding.
“As county clerk, one of my jobs it to direct the county board of elections with changing precinct boundary lines and descriptions to follow the new district lines once the House and Senate have set their official boundary lines. As you are well aware, that process has not been finished,” said Harper. “As county clerk, I witness our fiscal court members confused on who they represent. We are operating under two maps. I am concerned that the serious nature of this issue is not understood by some in Frankfort.”
Harper said he has heard reports that this issue may not be resolved during the 2013 session. Beginning in November 2013, individuals file for county offices such as magistrates.
“These men and women may very well begin campaigning before the legislature votes on redistricting if it’s not done until 2014. Who do they represent? Where do they file? I feel the county clerks are in a no win situation and in danger of lawsuits,” said Harper. “What happens when the boundary change takes place after the filing deadline in January of 2014? We will also be under a time-line to get our precinct boundary maps and written description changes to the state board of elections for final approval before the May 2014 primary.”
Harper said with that being said, the transportation department will also be implementing a state wide roll-out with the new Kavis system.
“Most of our offices are already under a strain and I don’t know how we can take on another issue in 2014,” said Harper, who is asking the state representative in Frankfort to help the clerks, as well as all fiscal courts, and push for reasonable redistricting legislation for the 2013 session.
Harper’s letter prompted the members of the Logan County Fiscal Court to pass a resolution to be sent to Frankfort encouraging the Kentucky State Senate and the Kentucky House of Representatives to take necessary steps to finalize the redistricting process throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky, so that each county in the Commonwealth might take action to complete precinct boundaries within the counties in preparation for the opening of filing for county-wide elections during November 2013.