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Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - The Olmsted County Board met in a special session today and approved a redrawing of the county's political boundaries.

The redistricting plan is based on the population data collected during the 2020 census and will be used for the next decade. It adjusts the boundaries of the Olmsted County Districts, which are each represented by a County Commissioner. There are three mainly rural districts and four districts within the City of Rochester.

“Olmsted County staff worked diligently to prepare a redistricting plan for the commissioner districts that met statutory requirements and the needs of our growing community,” said Olmsted County Planning Director Ben Griffith. “The groundwork has now been laid for the democratic election process to begin.”

The County Commissioner positions for six of the seven districts will appear on the November ballot. The lone exception will be District 7 because the population changes in that area were not large enough to require an election. That seat is currently held by County Board to Chair Mark Thein.

Mark Thein

The fall elections for the remaining odd-numbered districts will be for two-year terms, while the candidates seeking to represent voters in the even-numbered district will be asked to serve four-year terms. Commissioner Thein will be up for reelection in two years. County officials say the system will allow for staggered election cycles that "provide continuity on the Board of Commissioners."

The new redistricting plan will be in effect starting with the August 2022 primary election. Registered voters will be receiving postcards with their polling location information beginning in mid-June.

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