Proposed Re-Precincting Plan


6/20/2011

Cambridge City Hall -photo by Bob Coe

Every 10 years after the Federal Census is complete, ward and precinct boundary lines are re-drawn to reflect changes in the City’s population and to anticipate the needs of the City’s election system for the next decade.  This process is separate from the state legislature’s role to re-draw congressional boundaries along with the state senate and representative districts.

In 2000, there were 101,355 people living in Cambridge. By 2010 that number had increased 3.76% to 105,162. Because there has been uneven growth over the years in sections of the city, we were required, by law, to adjust the precinct lines city-wide to ensure that there is an even distribution of population across precincts. The target number was 3,187 people per precinct—the total number of residents divided by the number of precincts (105,162/33=3187). The law allows up to a 5% (+/-) variance for the number of residents per precinct.  A goal was set by the Commission to use a smaller variance of 3%.

Although guided by law, the Board also factored into its considerations input from the public and other practicable concerns, such as: minimizing the need for voters to cross major thoroughfares, walking distance to polling locations and also minimizing change to existing precincts lines. The Board has successfully developed and approved a proposed plan that would allow voters in most areas to continue to go to the same polling places to cast their ballots as they have in the past.
 
The Board was required to vote on the proposed re-precincting by June 15, 2011.  On June 15, 2011 the Board met and voted unanimously to approve the proposed re-precincting plan. The proposed re-precincting plan has been submitted to the Secretary of the Commonwealth (SOC).  Once received, the SOC will transmit the proposed re-precincting plan to an independent commission consisting of three members known as the Local Election District Review Commission (LEDRC) for review. The LEDRC has the authority to accept or reject the plan.

It should be noted that the re-precincting changes would take effect on December 31, 2011 and therefore in time for the 2012 elections. 

The following maps are available for download on the Election Commission website:

* June 15, 2011 Proposed Re-Precincting Plan
* Current Voting Precincts
* Population by Census Block


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