Monday, July 4, 2022

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Next Step in CT Redistricting Process: Voting Districts

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Monday, March 14, 2022   

With the once-a-decade redistricting process finalized in Connecticut, good-government groups say it is time to keep an eye on the next stage, the creation of voting districts.

Also known as electoral districts or wards, they are the hyperlocal areas determining polling place locations on Election Day.

Joan Twiggs, director at large for the League of Women Voters of Connecticut, said issues can arise in creating districts. For instance, in the Hartford County town of Newington, she pointed out a recent proposal raised concerns by recommending the town's eight voting districts be reduced to three.

"It's pretty easy to see that could easily have impacts on voting itself. Lines could get longer; transportation may be much more difficult," Twiggs outlined. "And all of the difficulties compound to, really, a possible state of voter dropout."

Twiggs noted backlash about the proposal prompted Newington's Registrar of Voters to adjust the plan to seven districts. In the latest U.S. Census, Connecticut had one of the lowest rates of population growth between 2010 and 2020 in the country, with most of the growth in the western part of the state's New York metro area.

Twiggs emphasized limited access to voting-district changes is one of several reasons the League of Women Voters wants to see legislation to evaluate the redistricting process and boost the amount of public engagement.

"We think that we actually need a little more conscientious development of resources and communication about these changes," Twiggs asserted. "Districts are a fundamental building block of democracy. We should spend a little more time and give attention to how we could improve our process."

Twiggs added the League has asked the Legislature's Government Administration and Elections Committee to raise the issue in bill form. Connecticut House and Senate maps were finalized the end of November, and congressional maps were adopted last month. Connecticut's primary election is August 9.


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