In redistricting the seven Hennepin County Board districts, the Board shall be guided by the following principles:
County Commissioner districts shall be as nearly equal in population as possible. The ideal population for each district shall be determined by dividing the total population of the County by the number of districts (7). The 2020 population of the County totals 1,281,567. As a result, the ideal population of each district is 183,081. State law allows population variances of up to ten percent (10%) from the average for all districts in the county.
In determining population for each district, the County shall use 2020 census data as provided by the United States Census Bureau.
Pursuant to state law, the County shall use the precinct boundaries as determined by the cities, towns, or the County for any unorganized territory as the primary unit in creating each district.
The County will comply with the provisions of the United States Constitution, Federal Voting Rights Act, and all applicable federal and state law. Commissioner districts shall not be drawn with either the purpose or effect of denying or abridging the voting rights of any United States citizen on account of race, ethnicity, or membership in a language minority group and must otherwise comply with the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended, 52 U.S.C. §§ 10301 et seq. (2018).
Contiguity and Compactness
Each district shall consist of contiguous territory and shall be as regular and compact in form as practicable, depending upon the geography of the county. Contiguity by water is sufficient if the body of water does not pose a serious obstacle to travel within a district.
Commissioner districts shall be bounded by town, municipal, ward or precinct lines. Where practicable, the County shall follow the boundaries of established political subdivisions. Generally, a city or town should not be divided into more than one district except as necessary to meet equal population requirements or to form districts composed of contiguous territory.
Communities of Interest
Where possible in compliance with the preceding principles, the districts should attempt to preserve communities of interest and maintain historical alignments of communities in each district. For purposes of this principle, “communities of interest” include, but are not limited to, political subdivisions, neighborhoods, or other geographic areas where there are already recognizable historic or current similarities of social, political, cultural, ethnic, or economic interests.
Public Input and Understanding
Within statutory timelines, the County will be transparent with the public about its actions to establish the redistricting process, principles, and the new commissioner district map. The County will offer opportunities for public comment and input throughout the redistricting process. In its resolution adopting the redistricting map, the County Board will set forth the rationale behind the adopted plan.