LOVINGTON — The Lea County Commission on Thursday finalized a redistricting proposal with minimal changes.
With a 2020 Federal Census count of 74,455 residents, County Clerk Keith Manes explained the ideal number in each of five districts would be 14,891.
“But you can’t get that because you can’t split precincts,” Manes told the commissioners.
Redistricting is required immediately after every federal decennial census for all governmental bodies that are districted, including schools, hospital districts, municipalities and the county.
Most of the increase in population occurred in northern Hobbs where housing projects over the past decade have abounded.
Moving Lea County district boundaries through a total of five precincts, the county clerk noted the range now would be from 4.2 percent less than the ideal in District 3, with a population of 14,273, to 2.4 percent more than the ideal number in District 1, with a population of 15,249.
As approved, with a population of 14,834, District 2 becomes 0.4 percent under the ideal average. District 4, at a population of 14,976, is 0.6 percent over the ideal. District 5, with 15,123 people in it, becomes 1.6 percent over the ideal number.
All districts are within the required 5 percent limit.
Commission Chairwoman Rebecca Long, representing District 2, noted the move of Precinct 28 into Commissioner Gary Eidson’s District 3. Precinct 28 is in Hobbs north of Coal Avenue between Fowler and Grimes streets to County Road 39.
“Basically, I’ve been taken out of the Hobbs mix,” Long noted, acknowledging the large geographic area of District 2 runs up to Avenue D in Lovington.
Manes pointed out the commission chairwoman still represents a large portion of north Hobbs, running north from NW County Road and East Navajo Drive, generally outside the city limits.
While picking up Precinct 28 for District 3, Eidson relinquishes Precincts 41 and 44 in northeastern Hobbs to Commissioner Jonathan Sena’s District 4.
Sena noted he is looking forward to reacquainting himself with some of those residents whom he had previously represented as a Hobbs city commissioner.
District 1, generally northern Lea County represented by Commissioner Dean Jackson, picks up Precinct 17 in southwestern Lovington from District 2.
District 5, generally southern Lea County represented by Commissioner Pat Sims, picks up Precinct 31 in northwestern Hobbs.
As finally approved, the commission’s resolution lists precincts in districts as follows:
• District 1 — Precincts 2,3,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,17,21
• District 2 — Precincts 16,18,19,20,22,26,27,37,39,56,57
• District 3 — Precincts 23,24,25,28,29,30,32,33,38,40,42
• District 4 — Precincts 34,35,41,43,44,50,51,52,53,58,59
• District 5 — Precincts 31,36, 54,55,61,62,71,72,73,74.
Each voter’s precinct, based on home address, is shown on the voter’s registration card or may be obtained on the New Mexico Secretary of State’s website or through the Lea County Clerk’s office.