The Denton County Elections Administration will review census and state data to draw district lines based on criteria laid out by the commissioners that incorporates state and federal redistricting regulations. These regulations include following population sizes per precinct and the Voting Rights Act.
District lines are redrawn every 10 years based on updated census information. The purpose is to equalize populations that have increased or decreased over the past decade.
Denton County's population increased 36.79% between the 2010 census and 2020 census. It added 243,808 residents in that decade. The county's population in the 2020 census was 906,422. Denton County continues to add new residents daily.
The new commissioner, justice of the peace and constable boundaries will be created and made public by Oct. 28, Elections Administrator Frank Phillips said. These maps will be discussed during the Nov. 2 commissioners meeting, and public comments can be made.
The voter precinct map, meanwhile, will be finalized before the Nov. 2 commissioners meeting but after Oct. 28.
Denton County is divided into four Commissioners Court precincts. Based on the data from the U.S. Census Bureau, these precincts are re-examined and, if necessary, redrawn.
The 2020 U.S. census data release was delayed until August because of challenges collecting the data, such as the pandemic. This delay has resulted in Denton County working within a compressed timeline to adopt new boundaries.
County officials would normally get the census information in April, and it would be used to finalize new lines by August, Phillips said. This year, the data the county needed was received Oct. 25.
“One of the things we have to do as the county is we have to wait on the state's maps because we don't know where they will draw the line,” he said. “We’re really at their mercy for them to do their map before we can even attempt to do ours.”
Gov. Greg Abbott signed the state's voting maps into law Oct. 25.
County Judge Andy Eads said he wants the process to be transparent and thoughtful while working to approve the maps during the commissioners' Nov. 9 meeting, he said.
“We realize time is of the essence with these maps,” he said.
Community members can review and leave comments on the proposed redistricted maps once they are posted through the county’s website.