Sussex County Council proposed redistricting map

Sussex County Council districts are being redrawn in an effort to equally distribute the population, which grew over 20% between 2010 and 2020.

State and county redistricting efforts happen every 10 years, following the U.S. census. New state legislative maps were finalized in November.

In Sussex, redistricting is an “impartial process” managed by the county’s legal staff, among others, according to county attorney J. Everett Moore. He introduced the first draft of a new county district map in a Dec. 14 presentation to the council.

A proposed Sussex County Council redistricting map introduced Dec. 14, 2021.

Despite the map being nearly identical to the one proposed by the League of Women Voters of Sussex County, the League remains critical of the mapping process.

“The League is pleased with the approach Sussex County has taken,” said Jack Young, co-chair of the league’s Fair Maps Coalition. “We nonetheless believe that the best way to do redistricting is through independent redistricting commissions.”

[View a comparison of the current and proposed maps here.]

What this means for your representation

Sussex County’s population has grown from 197,145 residents in 2010 to 237,378 in 2020, according to county spokesman Chip Guy. That means each of the five council districts must be within 5% of 47,475 residents, Guy said. 

Each of the districts would either shrink or grow if the draft is approved. Their placements would change significantly. 

Sussex County Council districts from February 2012 to present.

That’s of particular interest to the two council members whose terms end next year and who will have to run for reelection if they wish to keep their seats. The county is moving quickly to set new boundaries in time for the 2022 election cycle, Guy said. 

The League of Women Voters’ Fair Maps Coalition takes issue with the fact that the other three council members will gain constituents who did not elect them, Young said. The group plans to take it up with the General Assembly, which requires all legislators to face reelection following redistricting.

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