A proposed redistricting map is in the foreground as St. JosephCounty commissioners, including Deb Fleming, prepared for a public hearing on them on Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021. Staff photo by Robert Franklin
A proposed redistricting map is in the foreground as St. JosephCounty commissioners, including Deb Fleming, prepared for a public hearing on them on Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021. Staff photo by Robert Franklin
In the latest U.S. Census results, St. Joseph County's population topped 270,000 — 272,912, to be exact.

That number, under current Indiana law, would trigger a dramatic shift in county elections. Commissioners would have to run for office countywide, with voters across the entire county casting ballots in the races, instead of being restricted by district.

That fact now has some lawmakers questioning the current redistricting process in St. Joseph County. New election maps for the commissioners, who serve as the executive branch, and the county council, the legislative branch, are being drawn.

There's also the fact that races held countywide, instead of by districts, would likely be an advantage for Democratic candidates and set up tougher races for Republicans.

“Obviously attorneys are going to want to weigh in on this," said state Sen. David Niezgodski, D-South Bend. “I don’t think (redistricting) should be allowed to just continue going forward without very strong questioning and legal interpretation to come.”

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