Olmsted County Board of Commissioners adopt 2022 redistricting plan

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(ABC 6 News) – The Olmsted County Board of Commissioners approved the 2022 redistricting plan outlining the county’s commissioner districts during a special meeting on Tuesday, April 26, 2022. Plan one was selected out of the six draft plans deemed by outside legal counsel as meeting all state and federal requirements.

The plan will be submitted to the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State to confirm any necessary changes to voter registration records. This plan will form the basis of county commissioner districts for the next 10 years until the 2030 Census is completed. The only district that will not be up for reelection in 2022 is district seven, represented by current board chair Mark Thein because there was not sufficient population change in the district to necessitate an election.

“Olmsted County staff worked diligently to prepare a redistricting plan for the commissioner districts that met statutory requirements and the needs of our growing community,” said Olmsted County Planning Director Ben Griffith. “The groundwork has now been laid for the democratic election process to begin.”

Staggered election cycles provide continuity on the board of commissioners. In addition to the Olmsted County Board of Commissioners agreeing to redistricting plan one, commissioners decided that candidates in commissioner districts one, three, and five will run for two-year terms, with the next election in 2024. Candidates in commissioner districts two, four, and six will run for four-year terms, with the next election in 2026. Commissioner Thein will serve the remainder of his current four-year term, with the next election for the district seven-seat in 2024. Today’s decision follows a pattern from previous redistricting of alternating which districts serve two and four-year terms to ensure terms served are balanced.

Commissioners reiterated the importance of a non-partisan board and serving the needs of all county residents.

“Although we represent individual districts, we as a board view our role as serving the entire county and working collaboratively with the City of Rochester, the smaller cities within Olmsted County, and our 18 townships,” said Chair Mark Thein. “We are pleased that this process offered us six options that rebalanced population, met all the requirements of redistricting and that the commissioners are unanimous in their approval of a map to serve the county well for the next 10 years.”

The approved redistricting plan will go into effect with the August 2022 primary. If you are actively registered to vote at your current address, you will receive a postcard with your polling location information beginning in mid-June. You will also be able to look up this information on the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State website.