Dallas County Temporary Redistricting Commission met Thursday to begin redrawing the map of the three Dallas County Supervisor districts in light of the new U.S. Census numbers.
The supervisors, who are all Republicans, established the commission in May and filled two of its three seats with fellow Republicans ReNae Arnold of Adel, who declared her candidacy for Dallas County Recorder in February, and Tyler de Haan of Van Meter, former chair of the Dallas County GOP.
The Dallas County Democrats filled the minority seat on the commission with Bryce Smith of Adel, chair of the Dallas County Democrats.
The commission’s first meeting was called to order by Dallas County Auditor and Commissioner of Elections Julia Helm, who explained the redistricting process to the members and outlined the available resources.
Since much of the commission’s work will involves maps, Helm was assisted by Mary Cline, real estate GIS supervisor in the auditor’s office, who will guide the commission in the use of a new GIS mapping tool.
Helm said her office needs some necessary census data for recent annexations in Adel, De Soto, Redfield, Waukee and West Des Moines before the commission can complete its task, but she offered the members three preliminary maps of options for new district boundaries.
Dallas County’s population has increased about 50% since 2010, from about 66,000 to about 99,000, so each supervisor district will contain a populations of about 33,000 people. Helm said she expects to add eight to 10 new voting precincts to the 34 current precincts.
The Dallas County Redistricting Commission will meet again Tuesday, Sept. 28 at 2 p.m. in the supervisors’ chambers at 902 Court St. in Adel. The meetings are open to the public.
Dallas County residents may also consider the recently released nonpartisan map of the proposed redistricting of Iowa’s four Congressional districts. The Iowa Legislature will vote on the proposed map in a special session Oct. 5.
The final virtual public hearing on the map is Wednesday, Sept. 22 from 6-9 p.m. Iowans can also register to speak publicly or submit written comments.