A special election to fill the Ward 1 seat on the Hernando Board of Aldermen will be held on Jan. 19, 2021. The seat was previously held by Elhanan “Sonny” Bryant, who died on Saturday, Nov. 28.
During a special meeting Monday night, The board voted unanimously to hold the special election under the ward boundaries used in the 2017 election so the constituents who elected Bryant will also choose who will serve out the remainder of his unexpired term, which ends later next year.
Monday night's decision came after the board voted on Nov. 18 to redraw Hernando’s ward boundaries after nearly a decade of being out of compliance with the 2010 census data. State law requires that the populations of each city ward be within 10% of each other, but Hernando’s wards have been more than 98% unbalanced since 2010. This means that some voters in Hernando live in wards with far more people than others, diluting their vote for one seat on the board compared to wards with smaller populations.
The reapportionment of the Hernando wards will be in effect for the regular 2021 elections. It will also be out of compliance again in a few months when the 2020 census data is released. Tom Ferguson, the mayor of Hernando, has said the board fully intends to meet the six-month deadline for redistricting after the 2020 data is released.