Lexington leaders looking at potential impact of new redistricting maps on city

Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 4:59 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Lexington leaders are taking a closer look at the redistricting maps for the city.

Over the weekend, Kentucky lawmakers advanced several bills detailing new districts for the state’s legislative and congressional seats. Governor Andy Beshear must now decide on the bills.

With the state legislature approving new redistricting maps, Fayette County leaders are looking at the potential impact on Lexington voters.

“I’m rather disappointed at the lack of transparency,” said Fayette County Clerk Don Blevins Jr.

Like other Democrats, Blevins is criticizing Republicans for releasing the maps just days before they were voted on. He believes the state should have used an independent commission for redistricting.

“It’s important because sometimes communities of color don’t get representation like they should,” Blevins said.

Republicans, who hold a supermajority in the legislature, say they followed all federal and legal rules in drawing the maps.

However, Democratic State Representative George Brown Jr. fears the new maps will hurt Fayette County’s diverse population. He says the maps reduce the influence of minority voters, especially in his District 77.

“My district was somewhere in the mid-50s, 55 to 65 percent people of color and Democrats,” Brown said. “With this new map, the number will go down to 51 percent.”

With Republicans in control, Democrats won’t have the power to block the maps, but Brown is urging voters to remain civically engaged.

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