By Ken de la Bastide
Tribune enterprise editor
Kokomo’s annexed residents will be in a voting precinct after new lines are drawn.
Although Howard County is awaiting figures from the Indiana Election Division on the number of registered voters, county and Kokomo city officials are working on changing precincts.
Kim Wilson, Howard County clerk, said the county last received voter registration numbers received from the state in 2011. She said until the new numbers are received, the details of each precinct change and Kokomo Common Council and Howard County Council districts can’t be completed.
“We’re renaming all of the precincts,” she said. “The precincts will have a number instead of a name starting with the 2014 election.”
As an example, Wilson said Precinct 11 will now become 1-Center-1. The first one stands for the city council district, followed by the township and precinct in the township. Instead of Clay Township precincts being numbered Clay 1, 2 or 3; they will be changed to Clay A, B or C.
“The annexation by the city is driving the changes for clarification of the precinct names and numbers,” she said. “In the annexed townships, some residents will be eligible to vote in the Kokomo municipal elections and others [will] not.”
Currently Howard County has 71 precincts, and that number will be increased.
“We creating new voting precincts to eliminate confusion between city and county precincts,” Wilson said.
The deadline for the changes is June 21. The Howard County Voter Registration and Clerk’s office are working closely with Corbin King, attorney for the Kokomo Common Council.
“We want to present all the changes for the city and county at the same time,” Wilson said. “This is a big process. The goal is to meet the state deadline.”
The districts for the Howard County were not changed in 2001, she said.
King said the districts for the Kokomo Common Council are determined by population and the county sets up precincts based on voter registration.
“We want it completed in one process,” he said. “We have maps and population numbers. We’ve been working on this for six months.”
King said the city annexation is adding population in Council Districts 5 and 6.
“It will make a difference in all districts,” he said. “We have to equalize population in each district.”
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