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Elections for Jennings City Council postponed

Last Modified: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 7:12 PM

By Doris Maricle / American Press

JENNINGS — April 6 elections for the Jennings City Council will be postponed until the city’s new redistricting plan receives approval from the U.S. Justice Department.

Registrar of Voters Lorraine Dees said Wednesday the city still hasn’t received a notice of federal approval of the new district boundaries, which were based on 2010 census figures.

“The Justice Department has to verify every reapportionment plan for municipalities and government agencies,” she said. “That takes a while.”

There is nothing in particular holding up the plan, she said.

“They just want to make sure that we have dotted all our i’s and crossed all our t’s,” she said. “It could be a month or two before we get anything approved.”

A similar plan submitted by the Jefferson Davis Parish School Board in August was approved last week, she said. Those elections are slated for 2014.

Qualifying for the five City Council district seats was to begin Wednesday, but has been delayed pending approval of the plan, Dees said.

The city’s mayoral election will be held as scheduled, she said.

Incumbent council members will continue to serve until elections are held.

“The Jennings City Council is the only municipality in our area that is elected within districts,” Dees said. “The other municipalities are elected at large.”

The council elections will likely be held this fall, unless a special election is called, she said.

The mayor and current council members’ terms end June 30.

The City Council approved a redistricting plan in December to meet shifts in the city’s population. The plan maintains the council’s five election districts and retains Districts A and D as the city’s two minority districts.

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