Brooklyn Park has seen recent changes in local districts as a result of the latest ten-year census data, released in August of 2021. The purpose of the census is to ensure equal representation by adjusting for changes in population size as people move in and out of districts. While the City Council is ultimately responsible for making the final redistricting decisions, the Brooklyn Park Charter Commission is responsible for reviewing the city charter, proposing changes, and advising the City Council during the process.
The redistricting process is instrumental in determining which neighborhoods, communities, homes, and businesses are grouped together within the same district. These districts are the building block on which council members are elected and policies are pursued.
The Brooklyn Park City Council approved a new district map on February 24, 2022, and adopted the redistricting ordinance on March 28, 2022. The new Brooklyn Park district map is shown below, with the west district in orange, the central district in purple, and the East district in green.
Brooklyn Park has grown in population size in the 10 years since the last census, and the most growth has occurred in the central district. The new map therefore shows a more compact central district than the previous map, which reflects that increase in population density in the central district. Other changes include a new precinct in Brooklyn Park – increasing the total number of precincts from 24 to 25 – and five new polling centers to decrease the distance in-person voters must travel to reach their local polling center. These polling centers are at Crest View Elementary, Zanewood Recreation Center, Brooklyn Middle School, North View Middle School, and Grace Fellowship Church.
In terms of districts, Brooklyn Park has seen some changes and some consistencies. Prior to the release of the new maps, Brooklyn Park contained three school districts: Anoka-Hennepin, Robbinsdale, and Osseo. All of these school districts were retained within Brooklyn Park following the redistricting process. In addition, Brooklyn Park remains in Minnesota’s 3rd Congressional national district. However, Brooklyn Park’s local Senate and House districts have changed. Before redistricting, Brooklyn Park was comprised of State Senate districts 36 and 40, and State House districts 36B, 40A, and 40B. After redistricting, Brooklyn Park is comprised of State Senate districts 34 and 38, and State House districts 34B, 38A and 38B.
Voting options around elections are becoming more convenient, and voters can choose to travel to their polling center or to vote by mail or package delivery service (such as FedEx or UPS). No reason is required for voting absentee. Any interested voters can fill out a form to request an absentee ballot in order to vote by mail. The deadline for requesting an absentee ballot is one day before the election. The ballot will then be mailed directly to the voter’s address. Voters do not need to be registered to vote in order to request an absentee ballot. The materials received will include a voter registration application. Voters must show an accepted proof of residence to a witness when registering. Those who do choose to vote via absentee ballot can use their state’s absentee ballot lookup to find out where their absentee ballot is in the process. This information can be found at: https://pollfinder.sos.state.mn.us/. The Overseas Vote Foundation allows overseas citizens and US military personnel to register to vote and to request an absentee ballot. In addition to mail-in voting, voters can also vote absentee in-person before Election Day at a location designated by their county elections official.
The redistricting process has brought changes to Brooklyn Park’s local districts, both in terms of State House and State Senate districts, as well as West, Central, and East Council districts. While these changes have occurred, Brooklyn Park is still in Minnesota’s 3rd national district, and still retains the same school districts. Voting options including in-person voting on election day, early in-person absentee voting, and absentee voting by mail or shipping remain open. This variety of options offers voters a number of ways to vote conveniently in the way that they choose, either on election day or before.