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County Commissioners Redrawing District Lines


Gallatin County commissioners are redrawing district boundary lines, and it could change who you vote for come the next county commissioner election.

The State of Montana requires counties to redistrict their county commissioner districts every 10 years, after every census, to balance any population changes in the districts.

Tuesday the Gallatin County commissioners released the map of the proposed new boundaries.

"We have to change them to be as equal in area as population as we can do," said Joe Skinner, Gallatin County commissioner. 

Right now everything at the intersection of 19th Avenue and Main Street is in district two, but if the new boundaries are approved, the north side of main street will still be in district two, but the south side will be in district one, the same district as West Yellowstone.

"One didn't grow quite as much so we needed to bring the people into district one and bring area into district three," said Eric Semerad, Gallatin County Recorder supervisor.

The County Clerk and Recorder's office is making the changes based off of information from the 2010 census.

Gallatin County Clerk and Recorder Charlotte Mills said before the county could propose redistricting changes, it had to wait on much-needed information from the state legislature.

"The legislature in Helena has to form a committee and tell us where our house district boundaries are," said Mills. "Until that's done, we can't really start the redistricting process that we do for our precincts."

Skinner said if the proposed changes do into effect, it won't affect voters, but it will affect potential candidates for county commissioner.

"About the only way anyone is affected is if somebody is proposing to run for commissioner this next time they may want to look at the map and make sure they are still in the district they thought they were," said Skinner.

People wishing to run for county commissioner in Gallatin County must live in their district for two years.

The next commissioner election will take place next year.

You can view the new proposed map at the county commissioner's office at the Gallatin County Courthouse. It will also be posted on the county's web site within the next couple of days.

County commissioners plan to approve the new boundaries next week.



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