At the Oct. 19 Williamson County Commissioners Court meeting, local leaders stated they hope to publish a draft map of amended county precincts to the public by early November.
“The goal would be to vote on [the new county precinct map] on Nov. 16, but have it available to the public on the 2nd or 3rd [of November,]” Williamson County Commissioner Cynthia Long said at the meeting.
According to backup documents, the proposed timeline for redistricting would put a draft map up for discussion by commissioners Nov. 9. The court would then vote to approve the redistricting map the next week on Nov. 16.
Commissioner Valerie Covey said state officials approved draft maps for state and congressional redistricting Oct. 19. The maps now move to Gov. Greg Abbott for approval. Once Abbott’s signature is on the maps, Williamson County commissioners said they can officially begin moving forward with redrawing their own county precinct maps.
The new maps come after Williamson County recorded one of the highest rates of population growth statewide over the past decade, according to census data. Williamson County’s population grew 44% from 2010-20—the third highest rate of growth of all counties statewide.
As a result, the county has to redraw its county commissioner precinct map to ensure its countywide population is fairly represented by the Williamson County Commissioners Court over the next decade.
“Commissioner precincts are supposed to be divided as equally in population as possible,” Covey said.
The difference in population between the four commissioner precincts cannot be more than 10% difference from the most populated precinct to the least populated precinct, Covey clarified.
At the meeting, Williamson County Commissioner Terry Cook said Precinct 1—represented by Cook—and Precinct 4—represented by Commissioner Russ Boles—will likely need to be drawn to include more residents than what the precincts currently hold.
The new Williamson County precinct map will further include boundaries for justice of the peace and constable precincts, according to county documents.
Commissioners will also need to approve a new voter precinct map that ensures polling locations are evenly distributed throughout the county for all elections.
“We could be adding upwards of 30 voting precincts to get us compliant with state law,” Long said.
The early timeline from the county shows that the draft map for the new commissioner precincts will be made available to the public for review and feedback by Nov. 3. The draft map will be on the county’s website for public comment.
If the state’s timeline for redistricting remains in place, commissioners expect to vote on the new Williamson County precinct map Nov. 16. A later vote for the voter precinct map is tentatively scheduled in early December, county backup documents show.