Posted on Sun, Jun. 09, 2002 story:PUB_DESC
Redistricting cases cause electoral confusion

The wheels of justice grind slowly and, in the case of redistricting St. Louis County commissioner districts, seem likely to result in a confusing election filing season for commissioner candidates.

A candidate must live within the boundaries of the district he or she is running for, but with recent court challenges, no one knows where those lines will be.

In fact, the Minnesota Secretary of State's office says " ... no plan is effective for the next election unless the plan is filed with the county auditor on or before June 4, 2002." That date has come and gone.

This year is already an election year for three commissioners, but any others whose district populations change by 5 percent or more also must run.

Slated for election this year with or without redistricting are: District 2 represented by Joanne Fay, District 4 represented by Mike Forsman and District 6 represented by Paul Plesha.

What will happen next is up in the air. There's little case law to guide the decision, and many questions remain about how the case will be handled.

And the interaction of the revision of boundaries and election filing dates is a "big concern," since the dates are set by law, Assistant County Attorney Shaun Floerke said.

The June 25 court hearing is exactly one week before filings must by state law open for county commissioner election races.