These Norwalk polling places have changed due to population growth

NORWALK — Reflecting a trend in Fairfield County, the city’s population has grown over the past decade and officials have had to relocate polling locations to accommodate a new 13th electoral district.

On Thursday, Democratic Registrar of Electors Stuart Wells presented the precinct changes to the Common Council’s Public Safety and General Government Committee. The proposed changes to polling stations did not require Committee approval and were for informational purposes only. The change will require a vote of the Municipal Council.

“Every 10 years they have a census and they redraw the electoral district of the state for the legislature, also for the senate and for the congress,” Wells said. “Fortunately, we don’t have to worry about that. Norwalk is in a senate and a congressional district, but they move our legislative district a lot. »

The state Legislature approved the new boundaries of Norwalk’s five legislative districts in November 2021, according to a memo from Wells to the Council.

Five electoral districts remain in Norwalk, however, the change will result in the creation of a new electoral district in District 143, Wells said. District 143 encompasses the eastern parts of Norwalk.

The polling locations currently in District 143 are Nathan Hale Middle School and Wolfpit Elementary School, according to city records.

In the state redistribution, Norwalk took over more of the 143rd District, which is represented by Stephanie Thomas, Wells said.

“We’re now proposing, because 143 is so much bigger, we’re going to need three electoral districts instead of two,” Wells said. “All the others (districts) had three except 141. This one has only ever had one. It’s not very big and we share this neighborhood with Darien.

Norwalk uses 12 polling places for state and federal elections and 13 polling places for local elections, according to the city’s website. The electoral boundaries for these two types of elections are not the same.

Because the city already has 13 municipal election polls, it is already equipped to handle an additional legislative poll, Wells said.

“We now have 13 municipal election ridings and we have the equipment for that, and indeed we anticipated a certain amount of that and got our hands on extra tabulators, extra transportation,” Wells said. “For the past two years, we expected something like this to be necessary.”

For polling places, the locations of many districts remain the same, although the impending construction of schools and the shifting of district boundaries have brought about some changes.

The polling places for districts 137 remain Marvin Elementary School, St. Mary Hall and Tracey Elementary School, respectively, according to city records.

The polling places for District 140 are still Kendall and Columbus Elementary Schools. District 140 Polling Station C will remain in the same location, although the name has been changed from Nathaniel Ely School to Maritime Odyssey Preschool.

The District 141 polling station will be moved from Roton Elementary School to Rowayton Elementary School.

For District 142, only Polling Station C will move from West Rocks Middle School to Brookside Elementary School, according to city records.

The two existing polling places in District 143, Nathan Hale and Wolfpit, will remain the same, but a third polling place will be added at West Rocks Middle School, records show.

Additionally, District 137 has become smaller, which Wells says comes in handy because the district had become difficult to manage during the federal election.

Currently, Norwalk has about 56,000 registered voters, according to Wells’ memo. The addition of a third polling station in District 143 will be one of the busiest polling stations, with more than 5,000 registered voters showing up at that station.

Council members praised Wells for his work in redrawing the city and ensuring few polling places were disrupted.

“It’s a huge amount of work,” said Council Member Josh Goldstein. “I’m also thinking about trying to keep as many voters as possible in the same polling places in municipal, state and federal elections, which is a crucial thing. Even if it’s not that far from place to place in a given neighborhood, it’s like why make it harder for people.

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