Do you know what voting district you're in?
Posted at: 11/01/2012 5:59 PM
| Updated at: 11/01/2012 6:53 PM
By: Ray Levato | WHEC.com
Don't assume you're in the same election district you were for the last state and national election. Because of the 2010 Census, district lines were re-drawn as required every ten years by law. That means your past voting districts could have changed.
Some district lines didn't change much, but if it's your house, you need to know because you want your vote to count.
Do voters know what voting district they're in? News10NBC asked outside the Board of Elections.
Peter Quinn is Monroe County's Republican Election Commissioner.
Ray Levato said, “Is there confusion from one census to another when the district lines changed?”
Peter Quinn said, “I think it's because people do get used to the districts. They get used to their representatives. Yes.”
Assemblyman and Monroe County Democratic party Chairman Joe Morelle says the state Assembly tried to keep to the old district lines wherever possible. But that newly re-drawn state Senate lines have five senate districts represented in Monroe County versus three after the 2000 census. And the new 25th congressional district which includes all but four towns in Monroe County is much different than Louise Slaughter's current 28th district which includes both Rochester and Buffalo.
Joseph Morelle, (D) Monroe County Chairman, said, “It can be confusing for constituents, particularly if they've had a longtime representative who no longer represents their community.”
Morelle says voters have to do their homework.
Morelle said, “ It's one of not only the freedoms we enjoy is the right to vote but it's also one of the responsibilities of citizenship.”
The Board of Elections sends out a mailer to every registered voter in the county telling them what districts they reside in and where their polling place is located.
But many people never open the mailer and just go on past practice.
Quinn said, “You know we take change differently. So it's a matter of learning change and realizing that your district may have shifted. But it's all driven by population. It's all driven by the U.S. census.”
One other thing, Quinn says even though you could be in new election districts, your polling place probably will be the same unless you've moved.
The quote is from 134th District Assemblyman Bill Reilich:
"The recent redistricting may actually make identifying your representative easier. While Monroe County was once represented by four members of congress, we now will have 96% of the residents represented by one. While our state assembly lines had minimal movement our senate grew from four to six. I am sure with all the recent mail most are aware of who is seeking to represent them going forward.
The purpose of redistricting is to ensure that each district has equally weighted votes. I support this process and I encourage everyone to exercise their right to vote. "