MALONE — Boundaries for two Franklin County legislative districts would change under a new redistricting plan.
Public hearings will be held at each end of the county to give residents a chance to comment, but the dates, times and locations of those sessions are yet to be determined.
The proposed changes impact voters in Legislative District 2, which includes Constable, Burke, Chateaugay and Bellmont and Malone Election District 4, and Legislative District 4, which includes Malone Election Districts 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7.
The 2010 U.S. Census put the county’s population at 51,599, compared to 51,134 in 2000.
And because the county is not including 4,796 institutionalized residents in its count, the starting population figure is 46,683.
The census says institutionalized residents include inmates in both adult and juvenile correctional facilities, nursing and skilled-nursing facilities and other institutions.
Redistricting is required by the U.S. Constitution to guarantee each citizen has equal government representation or “one man, one vote.”
Dividing Franklin County’s revised population by the seven legislative districts means each must have as close to 6,686 residents as possible with a deviation of 10 percent or less between the biggest and smallest districts.
The plan revealed recently has a deviation of 9.19 percent.
The U.S. Supreme Court has accepted deviations as high as 16 percent in the past, and Franklin County tried to pass a deviation of 21 percent in 2002.
But St. Lawrence County Supreme Court Judge David Demerest threw out the plan as unconstitutional and ordered the county to rework it and to hold a special election in 2004 with one-year legislature terms.
A revised plan adopted following the successful lawsuit had a 9.3-percent district deviation.
Daniel Jenkins of Tupper Lake, John Quenell of Brighton, Mollie Sheren of Santa Clara and former County Legislator Mark Flack Wells of Fort Covington, who made the legal challenge a decade ago, asked legislators this year to include a county resident on its redistricting committee.
But they declined, saying they wanted to keep it small and avoid multiple alternate plans to investigate.
Legislators said residents can comment at public hearings before a local law is adopted.
The proposed changes are:
Legislative District 1: (the St. Regis Mohawk Indian Reservation in Bombay Election District 2, Fort Covington and Westville) for a total of 6,723 residents.
Legislative District 2 (Constable, Burke, Chateaugay and Bellmont): 6,359 residents.
Legislative District 3 (Bangor, Brighton, Duane and Malone election districts 8, 9 and 10): 6,913 residents.
Legislative District 4 (Malone Election Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7): 6,930 residents.
Legislative District 5 (Brandon, Dickinson, Moira, Waverly and Bombay District 1): 6,713 residents.
Legislative District 6 (Tupper Lake and Santa Clara): 6,315 residents.
Legislative District 7 (Harrietstown and Franklin): 6,849 residents.
Email Denise A. Raymo: firstname.lastname@example.org