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Houghton waiting on state approval before redrawing precincts

Houghton City Clerk Ann Vollrath says she is waiting on final state approval of the new county commissioner districts before modifying where residents go to the polls.

When they’ve done that and the Election Commission has that in order, we will make a precinct boundary in the City of Houghton to match the county commissioner boundary.

Due to population gains recognized in the 2020 United States Census the city is now too large to be contained in one district. The overall county population of roughly 37,000, when split five ways, yields a result of just under 7,500 people. Even when factoring in the allowed variance to try and keep municipalities together, Houghton has to be split up in a portion of a second region.

Assuming final approval from the state and if everything stays as is, that would mean some voters casting ballots at the Dee would need to weigh in on the district currently represented by Glenn Anderson. Others at the same site would be responsible for electing a commissioner for the seat held by Gretchen Janssen. Vollrath is worried that the situation could create confusion.

Vollrath says a decision is not required until the spring and would not affect May’s special election pertaining to the vacant City Council seat.

That will become effective in August.

Vollrath also shared that there will be no other issues on the ballot in May.

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