by Mayor Simison

Idaho residents will head to the polls tomorrow for May’s primary election. Voting is as fundamental as any other liberty afforded to people under the Constitution. As a Meridian resident, your vote is your voice. This is your opportunity to let your thoughts be known about important topics to the community and state.

As a reminder, Election Day polling locations are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on May 17th. There were many changes over the last several months. Meridian voters may have been assigned a new voting precinct, and many polling locations have also changed following the statewide redistricting. Voters may find their polling location and preview their ballot HERE.

While the focus is on tomorrow’s election, this week we are also looking to Meridian’s local election in 2023 when Meridian is required to elect our City Council members by district as we surpassed 100,000 people in the last census. Districts must be drawn so that each district is substantially equal in population. This process, called districting, is important in ensuring that each City Council Member represents about the same number of constituents. It also determines which neighborhoods and communities are grouped together when forming districts.

An independent committee was recently formed to review census data and other factors to create a proposed map of the six City Council districts. You are invited to provide feedback on the proposed map by attending public hearings, scheduled for this Friday, May 20th, 10:00 a.m. and Thursday, June 9th, 6:00 p.m., at Meridian City Hall Council Chambers. If you are unable to attend a public hearing, you can join virtually via Zoom to provide a statement. You can also submit written comments in-person, by postal mail, or via email to comment@meridiancity.org. The public hearings will also be live streamed and recorded. To access the live stream, visit www.meridiancity.org/live. For Meridian’s Districting Committee Agendas and Minutes, visit HERE.

Although Meridian’s districting process must be completed by August 2023, my goal is to have Meridian’s District Map complete by August 2022, allowing time to inform the community about these changes and giving those interested in serving within each district plenty of time to consider running for office under the new system.

Putting your name on the ballot isn’t an easy decision, and as you take time to vote, I ask that you acknowledge those who have stepped forward in this process to be evaluated by their community and fellow citizens. For those of you who are serving as poll workers and poll watchers, thank you for making it possible for our elections to run smoothly.  For the public,  I encourage you to be involved in the process. We want to continue the legacy of Meridian being a premier community and it starts with engaged residents and your vote. Let your voice be heard this election.