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O’Sullivan:  Voting District Lines Shift ‘Ever So Slightly’

O’Sullivan:  Voting District Lines Shift ‘Ever So Slightly’

Town Clerk Patrick O’Sullivan presented a map showing minor revisions to the Orange voting districts at the December 8 Board of Selectmen meeting.  For the last ten years, Orange residents have been represented at the state level through three Assembly districts, the 114th, the 117th and the 119th district.  State Representatives currently serving are Orange’s Mary Welander, 114; West Haven’s Charles Ferraro, 117th; and Milford’s Kathy Kennedy in the 119th District.

The southern border of the 114th district, which on the old map reached into the 117th district , has now been shaved back, forming several clean lines, with Hall Drive and Porter Lane separating the 114th and 117th district.  To the west it reaches up and runs along Old Grassy Hill Road.

The goal of these adjustments, which are made at the state level, is to create fairly even voting districts, O’Sullivan said, with House districts of some 20,000 registered voters and Senate districts of 90-100,000 registered voters.

The 114th District, traditionally the largest of the three voting districts in Orange, now is slightly smaller than it used to be, at least as far as Orange voters are concerned.  However, the district itself stretches north, to encompass all of Woodbridge and reaches in its northeastern corner into Hamden.  The district also extends into parts of Derby.

It will mean that on Election Day the line of voters for District 1 may be a little shorter than it used to be, while those for District 2 and 3 may see more voters at High Plains Community Center.

The 14th senatorial district hasn’t changed at all, O’Sullivan said.  It consists of Orange, Milford and a part of West Haven, as well as a slice of Woodbridge south of Ansonia Road.  The seat is currently held by Sen. James Maroney of Milford.

Orange registrars will be busy revising their voting lists and informing residents of the changes.  O’Sullivan didn’t have an exact count of how many households would change from one voting district to another, but he estimated anywhere up to 100.  The new maps will be in effect during the 2022 election season.

State law requires that Congressional and legislative district lines be redrawn every 10 years.  According to the Secretary of the State website, the districts must be based on the federal census and be consistent with federal constitutional standards.

A bipartisan Reapportionment Committee was charged with preparing the plan.  The committee is made up of eight legislators, two from each party’s caucus in the Senate and House of Representatives.

Map can be found at https://www.cga.ct.gov/rr/tfs/20210401_2021%20Redistricting%20Project/NODISPLAY_data/housemaps/Individual%20Town%20Maps/House%20Districts_Orange.pdf

By Bettina Thiel – Orange Town News Correspondent

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