The results of redistricting: Changes affect voting districts
Many Wilton voters — especially those who did not cast a ballot during the April or August primaries — will find themselves in a voting district and polling place different from the one they have had for the past 10 years.
Many — more than 1,000 — will find themselves in a new legislative district.
It's all because of the redistricting process the state underwent last year following the 2010 census. Every 10 years, state legislative lines may be redrawn based on populations shifts indicated by the national head count.
That amounted to an enlargement of the portion of the 125th state House District in Wilton, while the 143rd District in Wilton shrank. (On the Senate side, all of Wilton remains in the 26th District.)
On Nov. 1, 2011, Wilton had 2,930 voters in the 125th District. As of Sept. 26, 2012, there were 4,020.
The 143rd District had 7,269 voters on Sept. 26, compared to 8,092 on Nov. 1, 2011.
Wilton's registrars of voters — Democrat Carole Young-Kleinfeld and Republican Tina Gardner — are concerned voters may wind up in the wrong polling place on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 6.
The situation is further complicated by the fact the District 2 polling place has changed. Voters used to cast ballots at Miller-Driscoll School. Now they will go to the gym at Cider Mill School. The change was necessitated by the greater number of voters.
"It's got a bigger gym, better parking, it's brighter," the registrars said of Cider Mill. In addition, Miller-Driscoll will likely undergo substantial physical changes over the next several years.
District 1 votes at the Wilton High School field house and District 3 votes at Middlebrook School gym.
The census results brought about a wholesale shift in voting districts. Previously, District 1 ran the length of Wilton's east side bordered by Nod Hill Road, Ridgefield Road and Route 7.
District 2 was L-shaped on the west side of town, bordered by Cheese Spring Road to the north. Its northeastern border was a line between Belden Hill Road and Thayer Pond Road, picking up at Wolfpit Road (Route 106) as it headed east to Westport Road.
District 3 was in the northwestern corner of Wilton and included the area between Ridgefield Road and Wolfpit Road.
Today, the districts are more horizontal in shape. The changes gave the registrars the opportunity to "even out" the districts.
In picking polling places, they said they "have to balance voter convenience and expense to the town."
Each polling place has to have two machines and an adequate number of voting stations. They must be handicapped-accessible and have adequate parking and sufficient storage.
To alert voters to the changes, the registrars sent two postcard mailings to each household earlier this year. A third mailing — on a red, white and blue six-by-nine-inch postcard — will be sent out later this month. The cards will indicate which house district the household is in and the appropriate polling place.
A large, colorful sign reminding voters to check their polling place will also go up in town on Old Ridgefield Road across from the Wilton Bank.
Voters who would like to check their legislative district, voting district and polling place may do so on the town's website. Visit wiltonct.org, click on departments, registrars of voters, Voter Info Look-up.
Any voters who wind up in the wrong polling place won't have far to go. All the schools are within a mile or so of each other.