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Cities still waiting on Census results

By By Ben Alexander/The Meridian Star
Dec. 30, 2000
While the state suffered a serious setback with release of Census 2000 information, Meridian leaders Friday were still awaiting figures that could cause delays in municipal elections scheduled for June.
On Thursday, the U.S. Census Bureau released initial findings covering all states' cumulative population growth totals. But specific information on individual cities is not expected until March.
Elections for municipalities in the state are scheduled to take place on June 5, with a qualifying deadline of March 2.
Cities face the possibility of postponing elections if specific information isn't available in time to redraw ward boundaries before the qualifying deadline.
If delays occur, Meridian City Council members could face the possibility of qualifying to run in their current district and then not even be in that district after new lines are drawn.
Lofton said city officials pin some hope on the Mississippi Municipal League's recent resolution to the state Legislature asking that elections be run under old ward lines if the census results aren't available at least six months prior to any election.
If the Legislature approves the MML resolution, the U.S. Justice Department would likely have to give its approval, too, before elections could proceed.
Ben Alexander is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at balexander@themeridianstar.com.

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