From the McHenry County Board:
McHenry County Postponing Vote on Reapportionment Maps
WOODSTOCK, Ill. – McHenry County Board Chairman Mike Buehler has decided to postpone this month’s vote on a reapportionment of County Board districts in the wake of the General Assembly pushing back the deadline to the end of the year.
McHenry County faced a quandary of meeting a July 1 deadline to certify a new district map, as required by law after every decennial US Census to ensure equal representation, without the actual Census data, which will not be released until at least September because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
With no indication from lawmakers as to whether they would push back the deadline, Chairman Buehler, in consultation with the County Board Administrative Services Committee, crafted a reapportionment map using data from the Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey in order to comply with the law.
However, state lawmakers on Monday – the final day of spring session – passed Senate Bill 825, which gives county boards until the third Wednesday of November 2021 to reapportion their districts.
While SB 825 allows counties to approve maps using ACS data rather than the official Census results, Buehler said he intends to use 2020 Census data over ACS data and that postponing the vote is the right thing to do.
“We drew a good map – a fair map – and I have no doubt that it will need to change very little, if at all, with the release of the 2020 Census data on which we would normally rely,” Buehler, R-Crystal Lake, said.
“However, delaying the vote until we have the hard data in the fall is an easy decision to make to ensure that the reapportionment, which will determine voter representation on the County Board for the next decade, is the best it can be.”
The proposed map divides the County Board into nine, two-member districts.
The board in 2018 voted to reduce its size from 24 members to 18, following a 2016 advisory referendum in which voters supported a size reduction by a three-to-one margin.
The County Board voted at its May 18 meeting to formally accept a structure of nine, two-member districts; it has maintained its present structure of
six, four-member districts since the 1992 reapportionment following the 1990 US Census.