The new Congressional and legislative district boundaries released on February 15 cut through some existing precincts. Minnesota cities are also required to redraw their Council Member district boundaries based on the population counts of the 2020 Census. The city staffs of both Bloomington and Edina have issued preliminary maps for consideration by their city councils and their citizens.
The Edina City Council has approved, and the Bloomington City Council is considering, a reduction in the number of their respective precincts. Such a reduction, coupled with the redrawing of the precinct boundaries, will likely affect some of the recently-elected precinct officers. Those adjustments will be addressed by senate district leadership after the final precinct maps are approved. It will not affect the senate district delegates and alternates that were elected during the February 1 caucuses. They will automatically become delegates and alternates of the new precincts.
The proposed Bloomington map shown above and on the City's redistricting page reduces the number of city precincts from 32 to 31. If adopted, precinct numbers will change for every area except Bloomington P17. Per Bloomington City Clerk staff, the precinct renumbering was to make numbers within city council districts sequential. About a fourth of Bloomington voters will go to a different building to vote, due to boundary changes.
Some of the requirements that Bloomington is following in redrawing the boundaries include:
• The population of the most populous City Council district must be within 5 percent of the population of the least populous City Council district.
• Polling places must be located within or no more than 1 mile outside of the precinct boundaries.
On March 1, the Edina City Council accepted a staff recommendation to reduce the number of Edina precincts from 20 to 16, as shown on the map above.
The rationale given by Edina staff for the reduction in the number of precincts is outlined below. More information can be found by going to the City of Edina website and downloading the agenda for the March 1 City Council Work Session Meeting.
- Bringing total voters in each precinct in sync with the Secretary of State’s recommendation of 2,000, while staying below the 2,800 maximum threshold set by Hennepin County, with voters waiting no longer than 30 minutes to vote [emphasis added].
- Eliminate several polling places that are too small, too hot in August, or where layout does not function properly.
- Polling Places are recommended to be one mile in distance when possible; however, with limited options for polling places in Edina, this is not always possible
- The convenience of unexcused absentee/early voting is expected to continue to increase so fewer voters will go to their polling place [emphasis added]
All new redistricting boundaries go into effect for the State Primary on August 9, 2022.
Edina expects that the City Council will adopt precinct boundaries and polling place by March 22.
Bloomington anticipates the remaining redistricting process will be :
- March 7: Proposed City Council district and precinct maps presented at the City Council meeting; members of the public encouraged to provide comment.
- March 21: Public hearing and City Council consideration of a redistricting ordinance and polling place locations.
- March 29: By state law, new precinct maps must be approved
Districts for Hennepin Commissioners and other districts are expected to be approved by April 26.