Elected officials are required to review districts to ensure equal population rates.
Riley County residents comprise three districts, each represented by a commissioner. The districts were contiguous to each other years ago. County Clerk Rich Vargo explains.
Vargo says the districts must be less than a 5% variation in population, and the current districts are within that range. However, District 1 (John Ford’s district) has current population of 21,683, which is 30.13% of the county population. District 2 (Greg McKinley’s district) has 24,981 and District 3 (Kathryn Focke’s district) has 25,295 residents; which is 34.72% and 35.15% respectively. The County Commissioners made a recommendation, at their Monday business meeting, to distribute the county’s population more equitably. Vargo reviews their suggestions.
If the redistricting passes, District 1 will comprise 24,084 residents. District 2 will have 24,119 and District 3 will have 23,756 residents represented. Vargo will formally present the redistricting plan to the board at a future meeting. Vargo also presented two nominees to the Commissioners.
Witnesses from the major political parties are present for the destruction of ballots and records, which must be stored for a minimum timeframe. National elections must be maintained for at least 22 months, and local elections for a minimum of six months. The Board unanimously approved the recommended witnesses. Vargo will contact them to arrange a date to destroy the August and November 2021 city school elections. Vargo then updated the Board on the post-election audit. Riley was one of thirteen counties selected by a legislative group to be audited. Vargo shares details about a recent inspection and subsequent report.
Vargo says Riley County always tries to go above and beyond the minimum standards set by the legislature. The audit is still in progress with more reports expected.