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Redistricting meetings scheduled

ALBANY, Ga. -- The Albany stop for a series of statewide reapportionment meetings has been set for Monday at Albany State University.

Sen. Freddie Powell Sims, D-Dawson, told The Herald Wednesday that the meeting will be on the ASU campus from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The meeting is part of a statewide series sponsored by state legislators to discuss reapportionment -- the decennial process of redrawing state Senate, House of Representative and congressional districts based on changes to U.S. Census figures.

While Georgia is poised to gain one congressional seat -- which will be drawn in the northern part of the state -- congressional districts and state legislative districts in the southern part of the state are likely to be drawn considerably different than they are today because of the state's population shift.

Along those same lines, the U.S. Census Bureau, in conjunction with the Dougherty County Commission, has scheduled a meeting Wednesday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Albany Municipal Auditorium to discuss the census data and what it means to the region.

The free and open meeting will feature U.S. Census Geography Coordinator Wes Flack, who will discuss the changes to the various census tracks and blocks throughout the Second Congressional District.

"We've had inquiries by local governments on how to access the data and what it means, so we wanted to make sure to address their informational needs and thought we'd share it with everyone in the district," Gloria Strode, who oversees the U.S. Census Bureau's Partnership and Data Services program for the Atlanta region.

There will be a question-and-answer portion of the program, according to Assistant County Administrator Mike McCoy.

"It's an important event because a lot of information can be gleaned from the census data, and events like this really help keep people better informed about how all of the numbers impact them," he said.