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MAP: With 10-1 Map In the Books, Austin Concludes Redistricting (Update)

Update: Austin’s Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission voted unanimously last night to certify the district maps for future city council elections.

The group split the city into ten districts. Starting next November, voters in each district will elect a single city council member. Previously, all council members were elected at-large.

Check out this interactive version of the district map:

View Larger Map

Original Story (Nov. 26): The arduous process of redrawing the electoral map for the City of Austin is in the home stretch. The Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission will meet tonight to certify the final maps.

The ICRC previously approved the map, and at tonight's meeting they will make the ten district map official city policy. Approval from City Council or City Manager Marc Ott is not required.

Craig Tounget, the executive director of the ICRC, says he's proud of how politically balanced the redistricting process has been and hopes the process informs future redistricting efforts. “The best things that happened were the public hearings. We had 14 public hearings; we heard from literally hundreds of people in the community, both in public and written comments,” says Tounget.

Fairness in redistricting was an issue on both the national and local levels this past year. Due to the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, the new 10-1 map does not need to be reviewed by the Department of Justice. Section 4 previously provided an electoral formula, determining which states and political subdivisions require federal oversight.

After Monday’s meeting, the ICRC will only need to complete a report on the 10-1 redistricting process. Tounget and the current commissioners will conclude their work for the City of Austin by January 1st.

The first election under the new City Council map will take place in November 2014.

Carrie Powell is a news intern covering stories for the KUT News blog. Originally hailing from Ohio, Carrie entered the world of public radio through WGTE FM 91 in Toledo. Having recently concluded a year of service with AmeriCorps VISTA, Carrie is interested in news, community, and storytelling.
Laura first joined the KUT team in April 2012. She now works for the statewide program Texas Standard as a reporter and producer. Laura came to KUT from the world of television news. She has worn many different hats as an anchor, reporter and producer at TV stations in Austin, Amarillo and Toledo, OH. Laura is a proud graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, a triathlete and enjoys travel, film and a good beer. She enjoys spending time with her husband and pets.
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