New Castle News

August 28, 2013

Board approves precinct changes

By Staff
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — The Lawrence County Board of Elections approved a recommendation Tuesday to make changes with some election precincts.

Under the plan, some districts will be consolidated and some will be added. The net result will be a reduction of four precincts, bringing the total in the county to 75.

The changes, which involve the city of New Castle and seven townships, must be approved by the Lawrence County Court of Common Pleas and finally by the Pennsylvania Department of State.

Ed Allison, county elections director, said the maps are being redrawn to bring voter registration rolls in compliance with the state election code. The code requires precincts to have no fewer than 300 voters and no more than 1,200 voters.

Every municipality, regardless of population, is guaranteed at least one polling site.

Allison said the goal is to have the new maps take effect for the 2014 primary election.

Under the proposal, New Castle would lose one precinct through the consolidation of two districts in the Sixth Ward.

Scott, Neshannock and Shenango townships would each gain a precinct.

North Beaver and Wayne townships would lose two precincts each and Mahoning and Slippery Rock townships would lose one apiece.

The boundaries of Union Township’s four precincts would be redrawn to shift voters in the two larger precincts to the two smallest districts. The two larger precincts have more than 1,500 voters each and the other two have fewer than 400 apiece.

The elections office redrew the maps, which were reviewed by a committee made up mostly of county employees. The committee then recommended the changes to the board of elections, which is made up of the three county commissioners.

Allison called the reconfiguration “a collaborative effort,” but singled out the efforts of Susan Kite, deputy elections director, and Allen Miller in the county planning office.