PRINCETON, Ind. (WEHT) – The North Gibson County School Board met on April 11 to discuss population discrepancy within the district. The board received a notification from a special interest group that advocates for equal representation of elected officials in the state of Indiana.
The conflict is that there is a large discrepancy by population in the district by Patoka’s population being larger than the other townships’ populations and the law requires the board seats represent equal numbers within 15%.
There are five school board members elected by the township. Two seats represent the township of Patoka, one seat represents the township of White River, one seat represents the township of Washington and an at-large seat from within the whole district.
Board members are elected by the people of the township they reside in. Only the people of a township can vote for the members in their township and the one at-large seats for anyone that resides in the school district.
The district would have to change their district lines by eliminating township lines making all seats at-large and voted by all Gibson County voters. Another option would be to keep township lines for the candidates and allow voters to vote for all candidates instead of just the candidates that represent their township region. A third option would be to redraw residential lines for equal population.
“This doesn’t appear to affect the upcoming election but in future elections we will have future residential districts where everyone votes,” says Board President Joe Williams. “We will have new district lines drawn or all members of the board will be eligible at-large and be voted on.”