New Bedford voters find redistricting means polls less convenient
More than 17,000 New Bedford residents could face confusing changes in the next election due to gerrymandering, when a political group tries to change an electoral district to create an outcome that either helps them or hurts the group against them.
Massachusetts lawmakers ignored Secretary of State William Galvin’s warning about the confusion and chaos that could result and decided to finalize the new map of congressional districts, which takes place every 10 years after data collection. census data.
Will it have adverse effects on the little people?
A listener who resides at the Taber Mill flats called, sounding distressed, saying she ‘and all the little people living here’ will no longer be registered to vote in the building’s community centre. It’s been a convenient and safe way for residents to vote for 10 years.
Beginning with the September primary, all residents of Taber Mill will have to vote in their new sub-ward, Holy Heart of Jesus Parish at 121 Mt. Pleasant Street, and the group does not sit well.
Manny DeBrito, New Bedford’s Registrar of Elections, was asked to comment on-air about the potential chaos that could result.
“We’re not trying to make it harder to vote here, because I want people to vote,” he said.
According to DeBrito, New Bedford ended up with five new sub-districts. By law, neighborhoods are supposed to contain no more than 4,000 people and be of equal size, plus or minus five percent.
“When lawmakers created the new borders, they didn’t have voters in mind, just population size,” H.
DeBrito said that due to the COVID-19 delay in releasing new census data, some impatient lawmakers said they had no choice but to redraw legislative districts before towns and cities. cannot review the boundaries of local constituencies.
“Legislators reversed the order and changed things. Normally they reconstitute constituencies first and then redraw them, but some communities did not wait this time, and as a result, it led to the creation of sub -confusing constituencies,” DeBrito said. .
If you recall, this was at a time when officials were debating whether Fall River and New Bedford should be in the same district.
If the goal here was to create constituencies in which people vote with a ballot that makes sense, lawmakers have failed. However, if the goal was to create confusion and adversity for the “little people”, then mission accomplished.
There will be more updates and coverage of how this issue affects local voters as we approach the 2022 election season.
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