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Council Trashes Voting Redistricting Plan

Vernon will stay with six polling places for the April primaries.

The town's voting districts will stay the same.

For now.

A proposal endorsed by the registrars of voters was slaughtered on the floor of Tuesday's Town Council meeting and the vote doomed any chance of re-drawing any lines for an April 24 presidential primary.

The registrars have until Jan. 24 to file a new plan.

Of the 11 members of the council, only Democrat Michael Winkler voted in favor of the proposed redistricting plan.

"It's dead now," said Republican Registrar Cynthia Madden.

It has to be revisited, Democratic Registrar Judith Beaudreau said, because of population shifts in the 56th and 8th state House districts. Democrat Claire Janowski represents the 56th and Republican Timothy Ackert holds the 8th district seat.

The proposal was to consolidate the current alignment of six voting districts into four while still allowing the Rockville voters - many of whom are walkers and those who need public transportation - the ease of Northeast School.

That would've been District 1 under the proposal.

Under the proposal, District 2 would vote at Rockville High School, District 3 at Skinner Road School and District 4 at Vernon Center Middle School.

The attached PDF files outline the current districts and the four under the failed proposal.

Two council members who live south of Interstate-84 in the proposed District 4, Democrats Marie Herbst and Thomas DiDio, said the district was too spread out by not including Lake Street School as a polling place. The registrars generally consider its labyrinth design and tight parking lot as cumbersome to efficient and easy voting.

Both Madden and Beaudreau said by eliminating two polling places, the town can save $4,500 from each location.

"I guess they don't want to save money," she said.

Referendum questions not attached to a larger election would have taken place at Center 375 on Hartford Turnpike, where the registrars offices are being relocated to. 

Tom DiDio January 19, 2012 at 03:45 PM
This is an issue that is not about money but is about making voting as easy and accessible as possible. I am a firm believer in neighborhood voting. The change in the location for downtown Rockville area residents to vote at NE School is excellent. I understand the necessity of moving some voters to Skinner Road School due to Legislative redistricting, so why can we not assign voters to LSS from the neighborhoods that surround the school to make up the difference rather than close it down as a voting location. These citizens presently vote at VCMS but are within a stone's throw of LSS. This suggestion was made prior to the the Town Council meeting. Rather than taking an all or nothing stand, perhaps some flexibility in developing a Plan B would have been beneficial. Tom DiDio

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