Redistricting Article by the League of Women Voters of Sudbury
Sudbury Redistricted: Who do you vote for?
By The League of Women Voters of Sudbury
Every 10 years, after the U. S. Census is completed, the Massachusetts legislature takes on the task of drawing new districts for Congress and for state senators and representatives to accommodate population shifts.
This year, the task was more complicated because Massachusetts lost a seat in Congress, dropping the number of Congressional districts from ten to nine.
The completed redistricting plan has caused some major shifts for Sudbury, with most of the town in a different Congressional district, and precincts divided up differently between state senate districts.
For the Congressional district, almost all of Sudbury remains in the Fifth Congressional District but the area that district covers has changed. The Fifth now stretches from Southborough east through Lexington, Winchester and Malden to Revere. It includes Wayland, Weston, Lincoln, Framingham and Natick. In Sudbury, precincts 2, 3, 4, 5 and subprecinct 1A are in this Fifth Congressional District. Many of the towns in the redrawn Fifth are currently represented by Rep. Edward Markey.
The northern corner of Sudbury, about two-thirds of Sudbury precinct 1, is now in the Third Congressional District. The area that Third District covers has changed and now runs from Maynard north to the New Hampshire state line, east to Haverhill and west to Winchendon and Gardner. It includes Concord, Carlisle and Acton. Many of the towns now in the newly redrawn Third District are currently represented by Rep. Niki Tsongas.
That means Sudbury precinct 1 is divided into two sections because of changes to the Congressional districts. Precinct 1 is the northern two-thirds of the precinct and is in the new Third Congressional District. Precinct 1A, a subprecinct, is the southern third of the precinct and is in the new Fifth Congressional District with the rest of the town. You can find out which section your residence is in on the town website, www.sudbury.ma.us, by typing “precinct map” into the search box.
Both precincts 1 and 1A vote at the Fairbank Community Center, and election officials there will make sure you receive the correct ballot for your Congressional district. At all elections, voters in precinct 1A will check in and out using a separate station from precinct 1. The separation is necessary because the voter lists are printed directly from the State system, which has separate lists for precincts 1 and 1A. It is not possible to combine the voter lists, even for Town elections, though in local elections precinct 1 and precinct 1A ballots will be deposited in the same ballot box and tabulated together as a single precinct.
Sudbury has been split between two state Senate districts for years, but the new redistricting plan has shifted precinct 5 from the Middlesex & Worcester district into the Third Middlesex district.
The Third Middlesex district now includes Sudbury precincts 1, 4 and 5, roughly the northern two-thirds of the town. This is the seat being vacated by Sen. Susan Fargo, who is retiring.
The Third Middlesex also includes Concord, Lincoln and Weston, stretching east to Waltham and north to Chelmsford.
The Middlesex & Worcester district now includes only precincts 2 and 3 in Sudbury, the southern portion of the town. This seat is currently held by Sen. Jamie Eldridge.
The Middlesex & Worcester district goes as far south as Westborough and Southborough and north and west to Littleton, Ayer and Shirley. It includes Marlborough, Hudson, Maynard and Acton.
In the Massachusetts House of Representatives, all five of Sudbury’s precincts continue to be in the Thirteenth Middlesex district, as they were before redistricting. This district is currently represented by Rep. Thomas Conroy.
Much of the rest of the Thirteenth Middlesex has changed, however. The district was composed of Sudbury, Wayland and Lincoln. Now, the Thirteenth Middlesex is made up of Sudbury, the eastern third of Marlborough, the western half of Wayland and a small chunk of Framingham.
What hasn’t changed is where the precincts vote in Sudbury. Precincts 1 and 1A, 2 and 5 vote at the Fairbank Community Center, 40 Fairbank Rd. Precincts 3 and 4 vote at Town Hall, 322 Concord Rd. You can find your polling location and precinct by going to www.wheredoivotema.com and entering your address. Information is also available on the Town Clerk’s website, www.sudbury.ma.us/department/Clerk under frequently asked questions (FAQs).
The state primary election is on Thursday, Sept. 6, not the usual Tuesday. The general election is on Tuesday, Nov. 6. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and absentee ballots are available from the Town Clerk.
Don’t forget to vote! Democracy is not a spectator sport!
Friday, October 19, 2012