In terms of money, the new House of Delegates districts in Wyoming County won’t be expensive — a few hundred dollars more.
In terms of confusion, however, Mike Goode, the county clerk and chief election officer, and his staff are working to keep that to a minimum as well.
Redistricting is implemented with each 10-year census as a means to insure each voter has equal representation in state government. With the number of legal challenges to this recent redistricting plan, officials don’t agree that is the case.
Every voter impacted by a change in voting locations as a result of redistricting will get a letter explaining where to vote in the May 8 primary election, Goode explained.
For the most part, however, the majority of voters will cast their votes in the same location — the only real change is the House of Delegates’ district number.
The redistricting was approved by the West Virginia Legislature, not the county, Goode emphasized.
Most of the Wyoming County precincts are part of District 25, Goode explained. The district also includes small portions of Mercer, Logan, and McDowell.
Perhaps the most confusing changes are those in the small community of Cyclone.
That area has been divided into two districts, Goode noted.
“If you’re coming down Huff Mountain, toward Logan, the houses on the left side of the creek are in District 25. Those on the right side of the creek, to Paynter’s Branch, are in District 24.”
The area has just over 100 houses, Goode said, and his office will send a Democrat and a Republican representative door-to-door to explain the changes and register those who may not be registered voters at this time.
“If they don’t want to register, that’s not a big deal,” Goode explained. “If they are registered, then we’ll tell them which district they’re in now.”
The Sun Hill, Simon, Coal Mountain, Ikes Fork, and Hanover precincts are now part of the 21st delegate district, Goode explained. That district will be shared with Mingo County, he noted.
Kopperston, Toney Fork, Hatcher, Glen Rogers, and Oceana city hall precincts are now part of the 31st delegate district, which also encompasses a portion of Raleigh County.
Each delegate district will get a different ballot, he noted.
All the county offices will remain the same on every ballot, but the House candidates will be different for each district, Goode said.