Two years ago, when all legislative districts were re-drawn after the 2010 census, Upper Dublin’s solicitor informed the township manager and the Board of Commissioners that the UD needed to realign its wards. There are state regulations that require all voting entities be equivalent (within 2-3 percentage points of the average) in population so that each resident has equal representation. There are seven wards in Upper Dublin and one commissioner per ward. Ward 1, with the greatest numbers and WARD 5 with similar population were on the high side and ward 3 with 500 less residents was greatly below the township average. The other four wards were high or low, but within the allowance.
A committee with a Democrat and Republican met with Deb Ritter, township administrative assistant, to fix the population imbalance. Unfortunately, Upper Dublin with two Congressional and three State Rep districts, which must remain intact, does not lend to much change. The first attempt to increase the size of ward 3 without making ward 6 too small was rejected by the state based on “split census blocks.” These are neighborhood groupings used in gathering census data. If you’ve never heard the term, you’re not alone. Even those who knew such blocks existed were surprised by the ruling.
Redoing population maps which effect where people vote always causes angst. Change must be timed as to not disrupt elections. The redrawing process started anew a year ago. Who knew there was so much red tape to assuring Sunrise residents could vote where they live instead of trundling off to Sandy Run Middle School; to closing some polls where it’s not unusual to have less than 100 people vote in 13 hours; or to smoothing out some lines that only could have made sense to scheming politicians.
As of 4/16/15, all realignment is now approved and will be in effect for the 5/19/15 primary election. Now the public must be notified. Those who have any change will receive a new registration card from county Voter Services. If you get no new card, you vote where you’re accustomed to voting. If you get a new card, pay attention to what it says. You may be changing where you vote or you may just be called 6-1 instead of 6-3 or 5-2 instead of 5-1. Hopefully new locations will improve on old ones in parking, accessibility, and proximity.
If you wish to see a new map, go to the township website. Voter Services 610-278-3275 can give correct information by phone as can UD Township. The website of UDDems.org also has correct locations of polls and which streets are in which district.
Wards 1 & 2 have NO CHANGE. Ward 3 hasNO CHANGE except the addition of some voters from Ward 6. Ward 4: 4-3 moves from Sunrise to MarThoma Church on Camp Hill Rd near Highland. 4-1 and 4-2 have no changes. Ward 5 has been reconfigured. Do what your new registration card tells you. Ward 6 nowhas 2 voting sites. 6-2 is at Supplee as always. 6-1 and 6-3 are combined into 6-1 and vote at Temple Sinai. Properties immediately adjacent to Zieger will be notified to vote at Jarrettown Methodist on Limekiln Pike and be in 3-1. Ward 7 is unchanged except 125 voters will be in 7-1 at Congregation Beth Or instead of 7-2 @ Our Lady of Mercy. Those people being changed will receive notice by mail from Montco Voter services. 7-3 is unchanged.