- Your Government
- Redistricting 2022
April 26, 2022
No change in county districts map assures balanced representation
The Rice County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday chose to keep its districts in place for another 10 years.
The board selected Plan 4, one put forward earlier this month by county Elections staff. The plan meets all redistricting principles adopted by the board Jan. 25, 2022, and satisfies state statutes.
Though the population of Rice County increased between the 2010 and 2020 Censuses, the growth was relatively small (.2%) and wasn’t concentrated in any one area, so district lines could be maintained.
Other plans submitted to Rice County, including a second plan from Elections staff suggested alternative ways to divide the northeastern portion of the county, Northfield and Dundas in particular. But dozens of speakers at Tuesday’s continued public hearing implored commissioners not to dilute rural representation on the board.
The second redistricting plan submitted by county Elections staff took input from speakers at the April 12 public hearing into account, dividing eastern Rice County townships into two districts, but would have left just one of the five districts with a majority of rural residents.
About one third of Rice County residents live in unincorporated areas and agriculture continues to be a one of the county’s largest industries.
With no changes to the district map, only voters in District 3 and 4 will vote for county commissioners in the Tuesday, Nov. 8 election. Filing for those seats runs from May 17-31.
Redistricting is like the ultimate jigsaw puzzle.
Every 10 years, following the U.S. Census, governments of all sizes are called upon to review, redraw and piece together their district maps to ensure equal representation for its residents.
Population shifts, particularly as people move from rural areas, have changed the face of the nation, and to a lesser extent, Rice County.
Following the Feb. 16 release of the state's new Congressional and Legislative district maps, Rice County officials will begin the process of redrawing the county's map in early March. The new Rice County Board of Commissioners district maps must be adopted by April 16, about 30 days before the filing period for federal, state and county offices opens.
Rice County's Redistricting Principles
The Rice County Board of Commissioner on Jan. 25, 2022 unanimously adopted the following resolution (# 22-012).
Wheras, county commissioner districts are the geographic area within a county in which a County commissioner must reside when nominated, elected for office, and while serving on the Board of commissioners (M.S. 103C.311 subd. 2); and
Wheras, when it appears after a federal census that the population of the districts of the County are not in accord with the standards set forth in state statute, state and local governments must reestablish the boundaries of their elective districts (M.S. 375.025 sub 1).
Now, therefore, be it resolved, that the Rice County Board of Commissioners will use the following principles for the adoption of a County Redistricting Plan.
1. Number of Districts
a. The county will have five commissioner districts with a single commissioner for each district
2. Relationship to Other Boundaries
a. Commissioner districts shall be bounded by town, municipal, ward and precinct lines
3. Population Deviation
a. Commissioner districts will meet the population deviation required by state statute, unless doing so is not possible because of the lack of authority to split precincts
4. Contiguous Territory
a. Each commissioner district shall be composed of contiguous territory
5. Minority Representation
a. Commissioner districts shall not be drawn with either the purpose or effect of denying or abridging the voting rights of any county citizen on account of race, ethnicity, or membership in a language minority group, either alone or in coalition with others
6. Regular and Compact in Form
a. Commissioner districts shall be as regular and compact in form as practicable, depending upon the geography of the county and adhering to the preceding principles
7. Dividing of Political Subdivisions
a. The County Redistricting Plan will avoid the dividing of political subdivisions unless necessary to meet the principle of equal population or to preserve communities of interest
8. Preserving Communities of Interest
a. Commissioner districts should attempt to preserve communities of interest, i.e. areas with similarities of interests, including but not limited to, racial, ethnic, geographic, social and cultural interests, where that can be done in compliance with the other principles
a. Commissioner districts shall not be drawn for the purpose of protecting or defeating incumbents and should not result in either undue incumbent protection or excessive incumbent conflicts
Priority of Principles
Districts must be drawn in accordance with principles 1 through 9. If districts cannot be drawn fully in accordance with the principles 1 through 9, a districting plan must give priority to the principles in the order in which they are listed, except when doing so would violate federal or state law.
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Current (approved in 2012) Rice County districts map
2022 Legislative districts map - Rice County
Legislative districts Rice County - change from 2012 to 2022
2022 Congressional districts map - Rice County
Congressional Districts Rice County - change from 2012 to 2022
2022 Legislative & Congressional districts map - Rice County
Rice County 2012 population by township and city
Rice County 2020 population by township and city
Northfield precincts 2020
Rice County's Minnesota House districts 2012
Rice County's Minnesota Senate districts 2012
Rice County's Congressional districts 2012
Rice County's Minnesota House districts 2022
Rice County's Minnesota Senate districts 2022
Rice County's Congressional districts 2022
2022 Legislative districts map - Minnesota
2022 Congressional districts map - Minnesota
Proposed Rice County district maps
Plan 1 - Minnesota Immigrant Movement
Rice County's response to Plan 1
Plan 2 - Common Cause Minnesota
Rice County's response to Plan 2
Plan 3 - League of Women Voters of Northfield and Cannon Falls
Rice County's response to Plan 3
Plan 4 - Rice County plan 1
Plan 5 - Rice County plan 2
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Rice County Board of Commissioners 2022 redistricting principles (signed)
2-15-22 Final order adopting legislative redistricting plan
2021-22 State and local redistricting timeline
3-8-22 Notice of Intent to Redistrict Rice County