WOODSTOCK — Shenandoah County will make adjustments to the boundaries of its six voting districts in light of data released from the latest U.S. census that shows an increase in the county’s population.

County supervisors were presented at their last meeting with a few examples of what the new districts could look like after the boundaries are adjusted to equalize the population in each district. Chris Way, the county’s geographic information system coordinator, said at the supervisors’ Nov. 9 meeting that the county’s population grew by approximately 2,200 since the last census in 2010, up to nearly 44,200 people.

County Administrator Evan Vass told supervisors that the intent of the boundary adjustments is to equalize that new population among the six districts to approximately 7,300 people per district.

“The last couple times we did this we tried to basically make them as equal as possible,” Way said. “It really does help in the future to not have such a large change all at once.”

Vass noted that District 4 (Woodstock and surrounding areas to the northwest, north and east) and District 6 (Strasburg and the area south of town to the east of the Shenandoah River) saw the largest population growth since the last census, meaning they will have a smaller geographic footprint after the adjustments. Population changes in the other districts were more “marginal,” Vass added.

Way provided supervisors with three different maps showing potential changes to the districts, though he said the differences between them were small, as each basically showed adjustments to boundary lines at different geographical areas to achieve the desired equalization. Vass pointed out that the districts’ boundaries are bound by census blocks, which Way said can lead to “oddly shaped” districts.

When developing the potential adjustments, Way said factors such as geographical constraints, areas that need to remain together and keeping polling places within their current districts were considered. He added that county staff also wanted to ensure no supervisors were moved out of their respective districts.

Supervisors planned to discuss the topic further at Tuesday’s board meeting.

– Contact Brad Fauber at bfauber@nvdaily.com