Conn. Communities Plan to Consolidate Polling Stations

As city officials in Bristol, Conn., debate how to redraw council districts, some neighborhoods in the city are planning to reduce the number of polling in their communities to cut the costs of poll workers and moderators, the Hartford Courant reports.
by | December 23, 2011
 

As city officials in Bristol, Conn., debate how to redraw council districts, some neighborhoods in the city are planning to reduce the number of polling in their communities to cut the costs of poll workers and moderators, the Hartford Courant reports.

The city is realigning its three city council districts because Connecticut recently eliminated one legislative district in Bristol and shifted the boundaries of others, according to the Courant. It must produce a new voting precinct map, meaning some voters could have new council members and polling stations in the same year, the newspaper noted. Meanwhile, several communities intend to consolidate some of their polling stations to save money for the city.

As Governing reported in September, local elections officials are anxious about the problems that could arise at the polls in 2012, a presidential election that almost certainly ensures greater turnout. More than 40 percent of respondents to a survey by the National Association of Elections Officials said their budgets have been reduced by 10 percent or more from their previous peaks. In response, some localities have opted to institute voting centers, which allow voters from multiple districts to cast ballots at the same place, as one cost-saving measure.

More solutions like the one proposed in Bristol could be necessary. Much uncertainty surrounds elections offices' preparedness for the 2012 election. “It’s sort of what I call the perfect storm,” Doug Lewis, executive director of the National Association of Elections Officials, told Governing in the fall. “You contract, contract, contract, and now you explode the number of people you need to serve in what may be a very contentious election cycle.”

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