Ward boundaries slightly altered

Ward boundaries slightly altered
Posted on 04/22/2022
Flowers with words Ward Boundary Changes

The City Council passed an ordinance on April 19, 2022, which slightly changes Lenexa’s ward boundaries to ensure the city’s population remains relatively balanced among its four city council wards.

Less than 1,000 residents (out of over 57,000) are impacted by the change which removes a single precinct (currently 2-06) from Ward 2 and enjoins it to Ward 1 as a new precinct. The change affects residents and voters west of Woodland Road, north of 91st Street, and south of Mill Creek in the Whispering Hills and Woodland Reserve neighborhoods. The move reunites the entirety of the Whispering Hills neighborhood into one ward, an outcome that was not possible when the City last amended ward boundaries in 2015 and is consistent with the City Council’s criteria for amending ward boundaries.

By ordinance, Lenexa is divided into four wards. The U.S. Constitution requires wards to be divided “nearly as equal in population as possible.” This analysis is based on the principle of “one man, one vote," which applies to local governments through the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. “Nearly equal” does not require absolute equality and Kansas courts have defined these terms to mean the population of each ward should ideally be within 5% of the average ward population with a total deviation between the most and least populous ward of no more than 10%, unless a rational justification is provided. The approved change adheres to those benchmarks.

The change was made after receiving and analyzing data from the 2020 Decennial Census, results of which were delayed until mid-2021. As a growing community, ward boundaries will likely need to be considered again prior to the next Census.

The new precinct will be in place before the 2022 statewide elections this fall. The next election cycle for city council which will include the new ward boundaries takes place in fall 2023.

Published April 22, 2022