Don’t overreact to the changes shown in the accompanying map. This shows Blount County’s voting districts as drawn and passed by the Alabama Legislature in the session just concluded.
But they’re not due to go into effect until the general election in November of 2014. And according to Blount County State Rep. Elwyn Thomas, who said he abstained from voting on the House redistricting plan, it may never go into effect as proposed because “this will be in court for the next two years.” The federal courts, he said, will decide on whether the boundaries shown are acceptable, and what changes, if any, are to be made.“I’m very disappointed the leadership decided to break Blount County into four parts. (It currently consists of only two House districts.) It’s gerrymandering gone wild. But even though District 34 has changed, as long as I’m in this job, I’ll represent people in all of Blount County.”
Thomas said District 34 lost a small area in Jefferson County, but added a small area in Marshall County. It also lost a small area in the central part of the county to District 22, and a small area in the western tip of the county (including a portion of Smoke Rise) to District 13.
Those districts and their current elected representatives are: District 34 – Elwyn Thomas, Oneonta; District 13 –Bill Roberts, Jasper; District 22 – Jeremy Oden, Eva; and District 27 – Wes Long, Albertville.
Remember: this is just the redistricting plan the Legislature drew. It’s still got to get through the courts before the boundaries actually change. This plan does not affect any aspect of this fall’s general election.