Census-Related Residential District Adjustments and Updates to Board of Commissioners Elections

Wake County Board Room

Update

On Nov. 1, the Wake County Board of Commissioners approved two measures regarding local elections – the adjustment of residential districts based on 2020 Census data and the restoration of four-year staggered terms for board members following the sunset of a related state statute. Read the full news release here.

Background

There are seven residential districts for the Wake County Board of Commissioners. Each commissioner resides in a separate district and is elected by, and represents, the entire county.

Federal census data is used to make sure the populations within each district are balanced (in accordance with N.C. Session Law 2011-126). In August, Wake County received updated population figures based on the 2020 Census. Staff used that data to adjust each residential district so that the populations are balanced within 5% of each other.

The districts were last adjusted in 2011, after the 2010 Census. Since that time, Wake County’s population has increased by 25%. If the county didn’t make adjustments to account for the additional 228,000 people who now call Wake County home, residential districts would be unbalanced.

As part of this process, Wake County also considered changes to how the Board of Commissioners is elected, which would return elections to four-year, staggered terms. Read more.

About the Adjustments

What criteria was used?

 

Staff used the following set of criteria, which were established using the North Carolina Legislature’s Joint Redistricting Committee’s proposed criteria, to guide the adjustments.

  1. Districts will be adjusted so the population is approximately equal, with no greater than a 5% difference between the largest and the smallest districts.
  2. Existing board members will remain in the districts where they were elected.
  3. Districts will be a contiguous area, not disjointed.
  4. District boundaries will follow existing Wake County Board of Election precincts as much as possible.
  5. Districts will not discriminate based on any demographic data.
  6. Districts will not be guided by political considerations.
  7. Districts will be as compact as possible.
  8. Districts may preserve communities of interest, such as neighborhoods, where residents have a common social or cultural connection.

What Will Change

Based on the criteria above, this is how the populations in each district will change:

District

Commissioner

Original Population Totals

Re-aligned Population Totals

1

Sig Hutchinson

165,197

165,197

2

Matt Calabria

191,299

161,978

3

Maria Cervania

180,872

162,166

4

Susan Evans

149,772

160,728

5

James West

141,297

162,097

6

Shinica Thomas

142,650

158,260

7

Vickie Adamson

158,323

158,984

View the maps below to see how the districts will change geographically. 

Use the interactive map below to look up your address and see if your district will change.

Interactive Map Instructions

  • Zoom in on map to view street names
  • Enter your address in the search bar at the top
  • A black box with your result will pop up
  • Click on the map, and a new box will pop up
  • Use the arrows to click through information on your district
    Proposed rebalanced district
    Existing commissioner district
    Proposed district boundary
  • Click the “Swipe” icon located under the address bar to compare existing commissioner districts with proposed realignment of districts.

See which voting precincts will be reassigned:

PRECINCT NEW DISTRICT COMMISSIONER   OLD DISTRICT COMMISSIONER
16-05 4 Susan Evans   2 Matt Calabria
20-03 4 Susan Evans   3 Maria Cervania
04-10 4 Susan Evans   3 Maria Cervania
04-14 4 Susan Evans   3 Maria Cervania
04-16 4 Susan Evans   3 Maria Cervania
20-15 7 Vickie Adamson   3 Maria Cervania
04-21 7 Vickie Adamson   3 Maria Cervania
01-10 7 Vickie Adamson   5 James West
16-11 5 James West   2 Matt Calabria
16-10 5 James West   2 Matt Calabria
08-03 6 Shinica Thomas   7 Vickie Adamson
01-36 6 Shinica Thomas   7 Vickie Adamson
07-13 6 Shinica Thomas   7 Vickie Adamson
03-00 3 Maria Cervania   2 Matt Calabria

Find your voting precinct here.

Restoration of Four-Year Staggered Terms

Wake County began electing its Board of Commissioners on staggered terms in 1981. In 2011, the board adjusted its residential districts based on 2010 Census data. In 2015, the NC General Assembly modified the Board of Commissioners’ plan, but the modifications were ruled unconstitutional following the 2016 Wright v. Wake County Board of Elections lawsuit.

The Consent Order entered in Wright ordered the Board of Elections to conduct the 2018 election for all seven members at the same time and for two-year terms—or until the NC General Assembly adopted a redistricting plan—but no later than the return of the 2020 Census.

With the return of 2020 Census data and as part of the district mapping process, the board considered returning the election of its residential districts to four-year staggered terms. On Nov. 1, members voted to approve this change. As a result, districts 1, 2, 3 and 7 will be up for election in 2022 and districts 4, 5 and 6 in 2024.

Share Your Thoughts

Wake County invited residents to share their thoughts on the proposed Census-related residential district adjustments and staggered terms. Feedback was accepted for a two-week period, and there were several ways to make your voice heard.

A public comment period opened online on Oct. 15 and ran through Nov. 1. All comments gathered online were shared with the board and made public. Residents were also invited to make in-person comments during public hearings at two Wake County Board of Commissioners meetings.

Timeline

To meet the statutory deadline of Nov. 17, 2021, the county worked with the following schedule:

Oct. 15
Public comment period opened online.

Oct. 18
Wake County Board of Commissioners holds its regular meeting at 2 p.m. The meeting included a public hearing on proposed changes.

Nov. 1
The online public comment period closed. The Wake County Board of Commissioners held its regular meeting at 5 p.m. Residents had an opportunity to make comments during a public hearing, and staff  shared comments received online. The board considered adopting the proposed Census-related residential district adjustments and restoration of four-year staggered terms. Members voted in favor of both measures.

Nov. 17
Statutory deadline to make adjustments.