As a part of the process, staff looked to reduce the number of precincts with close to 5,000 voters, which is the maximum number of voters allowed per precinct.
“Our goal was to bring neighborhoods back together when possible. Legislative boundaries didn’t allow us to be 100% successful; however, we were able to make modifications to legacy precinct boundaries that had split neighborhoods. We were able to reunite neighborhoods or communities of interest in many cases,” a Travis County memo read.
The memo noted that staff took into account several physical barriers when creating the new precincts, including highways, parks, railroads and waterways.
The total number of precincts was previously 247 but will increase to 287 with the newly approved boundaries. The number of precincts with over 4,500 voters will also drop significantly from 63 to nine.
The memo also detailed the Travis County precinct numbering system, which uses three digits. It cautioned that the county might need to move to a four-digit system as it continues to grow.
“We recommend in 10 years that the county consider moving to the four-digit numbering system just as the other urban counties—Harris, Bexar, Dallas and Tarrant—did nearly 20 years ago. As growth continues, precinct numbers could become scarce in any one commissioner precinct,” the memo stated.
A review of the precincts happens in odd numbered years, with the next review happening in 2023.