KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The city of Grain Valley announced Tuesday morning it is suing the Jackson County Election Board (JCEB) after use of a new ward boundary map in the April 4 election was denied.
A news release from a Grain Valley spokesperson says the lawsuit, filed through Jackson County Circuit Court, aims to require JCEB to use the new boundaries, which were unanimously accepted by the Grain Valley Board of Aldermen, on Oct. 24, 2022.
The city of Grain Valley says it created the new boundaries in response to population growth within the city limits.
The ordinance approved in October says according to federal law, each city's ward must have "substantial equality of population," which is interpreted as no more than a 10% population difference between the most populated and least populated wards.
The city found the most populated ward made up about 43.6% of the population, while the least populated ward held 25.5%, a population difference of around 18.1%, according to 2020 Census data.
The new ward divisions decided upon by Grain Valley can be viewed online.
The ordinance for the ward boundaries was sent to the Jackson County Election Board on Nov. 14. Grain Valley says the election board pushed back against the new map, and said the new map would not be used in the upcoming election.
The City of Grain Valley released the following statement on the lawsuit:
The decision to file this suit was not taken lightly. However, it was deemed necessary by the Board of Aldermen to take action after attempts to work together with the JCEB to complete the process were denied. The most important aspect is ensuring that all residents have an equal influence on the April general election, and we believe this is a necessary step for that to occur. We look forward to resolving this matter as quickly as possible so both entities can go about their work for the public.
KSHB 41 News has reached out to JCEB for comment on the lawsuit. This story will be updated as additional information is received.