Wellesley’s population has grown more than 5% and shifted around town over the past decade according to the latest census numbers, and that means voting precincts need to change in 2022.
It won’t be as drastic a change as in 2010 when Precinct H needed to be formed to make sure no one voting precinct included more than a 5% difference in population than the town average per precinct. Come 2030, we could well be looking at more involved precinct changes in light of housing developments that will be filled by then if all goes according to plan.
This time around Precincts B and D have shifted enough to warrant a redrawing of boundaries, which means 81 Precinct B residents will shift to G and 200 Precinct D residents will need to move to Precinct C come next year. This includes some current Town Meeting members.
So those of you affected by precinct changes will have new polling sites to visit. (Town Clerk KC Kato anticipates a return to schools for polling places next year if the schools give the go-ahead based on health and safety protocols.)
All Town Meeting seats in affected precincts (30 seats per precinct) will need to be voted on in March, regardless of whether an incumbent has remaining years in their current term. A system has been put in place so that based on votes received, elected members will serve 1, 2, or 3 years to keep in sync with the town’s staggered Town Meeting turnover cycle.
Select Board representatives, the town clerk, and technology experts on town staff have joined forces to draft a map with new precinct boundaries. They say their recommendations limit voter disruptions, meet state rules, use logical boundaries such. as railroad tracks and major roads, and take future growth and school district lines into account.
See the before-and-after maps to view the proposed changes.
Give feedback on the proposed changes by emailing [email protected] The Select Board will review all comments and vote on a final version of the map on Monday, Oct. 4.
The reprecincting will not affect the upcoming remote-only Town Meeting that begins Oct. 25.
Town Clerk Kato discussed the reprecincting proposal with the Select Board on Sept. 27 (view discussion at about the 6-minute mark of Wellesley Media recording).
Wellesley population change shown during the Select Board meeting: