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    Wednesday, May 31, 2023

    Norwich voting precinct borders will shift with state redistricting

    Norwich — The state's recent redistricting of state House of Representative districts in Norwich will mean the 46th House District shrank; the 47th District got slightly smaller and the 139th District grew in size.

    At least geographically, the city’s two registrars of voters told the City Council on Monday during an informational session on the redrawn state maps. Democratic Registrar Dianne Daniels and Republican Registrar Cheryl Stover asked the council to vote next Monday to incorporate the changes into the city’s existing six voting precincts by “stretching the boundaries,” Stover explained.

    Otherwise, the city would be stuck with 11 total voting precincts, with each change made in the state maps becoming neighborhood-sized new voting districts. The council vote must be done before Jan. 4, when local party town committee membership votes take place. In Norwich, the Democratic Town Committee elects members by voting districts, while the Republican Town Committee elects members at large citywide.

    According to the maps presented to the City Council on Monday, a large segment of the southwest corner of the city will move from the 46th District, now held by Democratic state Rep. Emmett Riley, into the 139th District, now held by Democratic Rep. Kevin Ryan of Montville. Three smaller pieces in the center of the city now in Ryan’s 139th District will move to Riley’s 46th District.

    A large area on the east side of Interstate 395 to Scotland Road currently in the 47th District, held by Republican state Rep. Doug Dubitsky of Chaplin, will move to the 139th District. But the 47th will gain two other portions along I-395 — one north of the highway and one bordering it to the south.

    Daniels said overall 1,800 city property parcels will change House districts. But the registrars have not yet calculated how many residents and voters will switch districts. Some parcels include the Walmart shopping plaza, for example. The next step will be to separate out the business parcels and send postcard notifications to all residents whose districts will change starting with the 2022 primaries and election.

    The registrars enlisted Norwich Public Utilities’ GIS system to create the color-coded maps that incorporated that state district changes, overlaid on the city’s voting precincts.

    The City Council is expected to discuss the request to incorporate the changes in the city’s maps at its 7:30 p.m. meeting Monday, Dec. 20, at City Hall.


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