GREENSBURG — The St. Helena Parish Police Jury voted
5-0 to submit a second redistricting plan to the U.S. Justice Department.
The new plan was approved during a special meeting Thursday in an attempt to more clearly define the northern boundary of District 4 and reduce the number of resulting split precincts, jurors said.
“It looks a lot better” than the first one approved June 24 and sent to the Justice Department, said Jury President Frank Johnson, who holds the District 4 seat on the jury.
Juror Major Coleman was absent from the meeting.
The latest plan removes an extension of District 1 into the northwest section of District 4 south of Jessie Stone Road, and the extension of District 4 north into the southeast corner of District 3 above La. 16.
The result shows the District 4 north boundary as continuous from Jessie Stone Road east to La. 449 and from Carrier Road east along La. 16 to 4th Avenue and Edy Road in Montpelier.
St. Helena Parish Clerk of Court Beverly Gordon said the proposed change would slightly reduce the number of multiple splits in voting precincts, a concern with the first plan.
Split precincts create confusion, Gordon said in June. Voting machines containing two and three ballots must be adjusted to match voters to ballots through a process called “lockout,” she said.
“The likelihood of mistakes is greatly increased,” Gordon said.
While both redistricting plans would increase the number of split precincts, the new plan has fewer such precincts, Gordon said.
Demographer Cedric Floyd, of Data Center in Kenner, said the 2010 U.S. census shows St. Helena Parish with a total population of 11,202.
The parish has six Police Jury districts.