What is Redistricting?
The City of Gastonia has redrawn ward boundaries upon the completion of the 2020 U.S. Census. This was done to make sure that voting power and representation in each Ward across our City is based on the most recent population data. The goal was to balance the population growth that our City has experienced during the past 10 years. The new ward boundary lines were approved by the Gastonia City Council on Tuesday, May 3rd after a duly advertised public hearing.
How can I see the new Ward Map?
An interactive map shows the new ward map. See the interactive map here: https://arcg.is/18qnL5
Why did the City redraw Ward Maps?
Redistricting is mandatory under the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution and is the federal and state mandated process for communities with district based voting and recommended for others (N.C.G.S. 160A-23) to ensure that representation is distributed equally across the community.
The increase in population has caused some Wards to have either an increase or decrease in residents compared to other Wards. Making sure that all Wards maintain a balance is important.
How did the City redraw Ward Maps?
We partnered with Centralina Regional Council to make the process seamless and easy to understand. This process started in February 1 , 2022 and was completed on May 3 , 2022. We have worked together to analyze Census 2020 data, gather local GIS data, and review scenarios that will be ideal for the size of each Ward. Through this process, we have determined that each Ward should have about 13,402 residents.
What did the data collected from the 2020 Census tell us?
The information we collected told us that populations in the City's wards have changed significantly. As already noted, the 2020 Census indicated the City of Gastonia's total population is 80,411. Ward 1 and Ward 3 were above the ideal district population. Ward 4 and Ward 6 were below the ideal population. There are four Wards that were redrawn to represent a population distribution that is close to ideal - no more or no less than 5% of the ideal population per Ward.
The new maps now represent a population that is close to the proper size for each Ward. This means about 13,402 residents in each Ward.
If you have questions or need more information, please contact Quentin McPhatter, Assistant City Manager at 704-866-6013.