by Max Brantley
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has issued an official opinion today saying no state law change is necessary to correct a voting precinct discrepancy discovered after the legislature approved new congressional districts.
The legislature relied on Census maps. The Jefferson County election commission said its own precinct descriptions vary from those provided on the Census maps and the official description in the legislation leaves out two of those precincts. But, McDaniel said, the "voting district" described in the act includes the ghost precinct separately reported by the Jefferson County Election Commission and thus he "sees no need for corrective legislation."
U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford, who represents the 1st District, has raised questions about the law. The area in question was clearly intended to be moved from the 4th to his 1st District, but he contended the descriptions used in Jefferson County suggested, in combination with the imprecise wording of the state law, that the two precincts might be islands of the 4th District amid otherwise 1st District territory.