The Town of Coventry Board of Canvassers received the revised district voting maps comprised of five districts and 18 precincts, from Zoning Enforcement Officer, Jacob Peabody, at the Town Hall on Tuesday afternoon.
Board members Francis Perry, Lori Hart and Dorothy Berube spent over an hour poring over and explaining changes and revisions.
The work was completed well in advance of a requirement by municipalities statewide to redivide voting districts at least 60 days before the next scheduled primary election to comply with statewide rules and regulations. “We are moving faster on this redistricting than any other town,” said Berube.
There were no changes in the largest geographic area, District 1, which comprises more than half of the area of the town extending east from the CT border. Most revisions occurred in Districts 2-5, or the center and northeast portions of the town where the population is highest and/or has shifted in the past decade.
“District 3 had the most changes,” Berube explained. “It had to be reduced by 500 active voters. “We also had to change the map and redistribute it by population whether or not each resident is of voting age.”
“We communicated with the Town Council and worked hard with them to be very responsible about this process,” said Perry of the work he and the board put into the map. “We did not want to overload one precinct or impact too many voters. We also tried to take into account the state and house representative lines.”
At least three precincts in District 5 may still be changed pending action over legislation in the General Assembly.
Voters will not be officially notified until legislation is acted on by the General Assembly. That was expected to be as early as Tuesday night.
If House Bill 7055 and Senate Bill 2489 are enacted, that would allow the number of active voters to be above the voter limit of 4,000 as long as the effect would not result in a voting place serving less than 1,000 voters.
In District 5, Precinct 4 (2054) and Precinct (2340) alone combine for more than 4,000 voters.
“They will probably pass some version of the bill,” said Berube. “If not, we might have to create another precinct.”
This will also give town officials and respective candidates in upcoming elections time to fully inform all active voters where they will cast their ballots and in what district, or if there will be any changes at all.
A copy of the new map will be posted as soon as it becomes available.