Montgomery County approves new commissioner precinct maps before Nov. 12 deadline

The new maps moved a single voting precinct in southeast Conroe from commissioner Precinct 4 to commissioner Precinct 1. (Courtesy Montgomery County, Bickerstaff Heath Delgado Acosta)
The new maps moved a single voting precinct in southeast Conroe from commissioner Precinct 4 to commissioner Precinct 1. (Courtesy Montgomery County, Bickerstaff Heath Delgado Acosta)

The new maps moved a single voting precinct in southeast Conroe from commissioner Precinct 4 to commissioner Precinct 1. (Courtesy Montgomery County, Bickerstaff Heath Delgado Acosta)

Montgomery County will have new commissioner precinct maps effective Jan. 1 after the 2020 U.S. census showed the county’s growth in the past decade.

Commissioners authorized the maps with a unanimous vote at a Nov. 9 meeting. Maps had to be approved before Nov. 12 to be used in the March primaries. If the maps had not been approved before the deadline, the county would also have been at risk of a lawsuit for violating the Voting Rights Act for using outdated maps, according to the law firm Bickerstaff Heath Delgado Acosta.

Bickerstaff Heath's analysis showed an imbalance in populations in the previous maps. The U.S. Constitution prevents populations in districts from having a deviation of 10% or more.

Commissioner precinct boundaries changed at the borders of precincts 1 and 4, represented by Robert Walker and James Metts, respectively. Bickerstaff Heath’s analysis showed Precinct 1 was the least populous before redistricting began, while Precinct 4 was the most populous. Commissioners agreed to move voting Precinct 2 from Precinct 4 to Precinct 1.

The new boundaries mean residents in part of southeast Conroe will be constituents in Precinct 1. Precinct 1’s population is 149,614; Precinct 2’s population is 156,549; Precinct 3’s population is 156,138; and Precinct 4’s population is 158,142.




Both Metts and Walker described the changes as “relatively minor.” Metts said the county was “blessed” that the changes were not more substantial, while Walker said the county’s growth in the past decade was “absolutely a good thing.”


Bickerstaff Heath attorney David Mendez provided an initial population analysis at a Nov. 3 Commissioners Court special session, where commissioners also approved criteria for public participation and commissioner precinct redrawing.

Mendez said the ideal population of a commissioner precinct following the county’s growth in the past decade is 155,111. The county worked on the assumption that commissioners would be kept in their precincts as Mendez advised moving commissioners could be seen as a discriminatory practice by courts.

The Nov. 9 meeting was open for public participation in the redistricting process, but no citizens came forward to speak. Candidate filing for the March primaries will open Nov. 13 and close Dec. 13.
By Jishnu Nair

Reporter, North Houston Metro

Jishnu joined Community Impact Newspaper as a metro reporter in July 2021. Previously, he worked as a digital producer for a television station in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and studied at Syracuse University's Newhouse School. Originally from New Jersey, Jishnu covers the North Houston metro area, including Tomball, Magnolia, Conroe and Montgomery, as well as the Woodlands and Lake Houston areas.



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