Hubbard County commissioner Char Christenson recently reminded the board that all Congressional districts in Minnesota will need to be redrawn, based on 2020 U.S. Census data.

She noted that District 8 grew by 12,938, or 2 percent, since the 2010 census. The district currently comprises 18 counties, with Duluth being the largest city.

Christenson pointed out that the number of people of multiple races grew by 61 percent, while whites declined by 2 percent.

Hubbard County’s total population grew over the last decade by 916 people – from 20,428 to 21,344.

The Minnesota Legislature is responsible for redrawing U.S. congressional and state legislative districts. All districts must be equal in population. Their deadline is Feb. 15, 2022 to establish new congressional district boundaries.

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Cities and towns must either reestablish their existing boundary or redraw it to conform to statutory requirements. They have 60 days to complete this after the state legislature. The deadline for redistricting municipal precincts is March 29, 2022.

The Hubbard County Board handles redistricting county commissioner districts. Population cannot vary more than 10 percent from the average of all districts in the county, unless the result forces a district to be split.

County redistricting must be completed no later than 80 days after state redistricting.

Christenson said that State Sen. Paul Utke and State Rep. Steve Green hope to see as little change as possible to the districts.

County commissioner Tom Krueger said, “I’m a strong believer in representation. If you’re rural, you want someone to represent you as rural. If you live in the city, you want to represent the city. You’ve got to draw your lines to fit that.”

County Administrator Jeff Cadwell said that may not be “practical or possible.” He said the Hubbard County Board will review the county’s census data in October, along with the timeline for redistricting.

Commissioner districts must change, Cadwell continued, because they no longer pass basic criteria: consistent in population and regular, contiguous in form.

“Population has changed in Hubbard County enough that our current districts won’t work, so there’s the spoiler,” he said.

Cadwell said the congressional, statewide and municipal districts must be completed before the county board can do its work.