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Norwich is bracing for voter confusion

By Claire Bessette

Publication: The Day

Published November 04. 2012 4:00AM   Updated November 06. 2012 7:13PM
Precinict changes mean many new polling places

Norwich - Although city registrars sent postcards in March to all registered voters informing them of where they vote, they expect "considerable confusion" come Tuesday, when many voters find they must vote in different locations.

"If you have not voted in 2012, even if you did vote in 2011, it is likely that your polling location has changed," Republican Registrar Dianne Slopak said.

Norwich voting precinct numbers have changed along with many polling locations. So voters who were in Precinct 1 in the past might find themselves in Precinct 2 now. All city voting precincts have been redrawn, because of the mandatory statewide redistricting, which happens every 10 years.

Because of Norwich's growing population, a third House of Representatives seat was added to the city. The 139th House District now cuts through the center of Norwich from east to west, encompassing much of Taftville. The 47th House District has a shrunken portion of northern Norwich. The 46th House District still encompasses much of the urban and southern section of the city.

The 19th state Senate District still encompasses all of Norwich.

The voting district lines were determined by the State legislature, not the registrars of voters, Slopak said.

Polling places are as follows:

• Precinct 1: John M. Moriarty School, 20 Lawler Lane, for voters in the 47th District.

• Precinct 2 at Kelly Middle School, 25 Mahan Drive, and Precinct 3 at the Samuel Huntington School, 80 W. Town St., are in the 139th House District.

• Precinct 4 at John B. Stanton School, 384 New London Turnpike, and Precinct 5 at Thames River Academy at Bishop School, 526 E. Main St., are in the 46th House District.

Parking is limited at Bishop School, so the registrars have made arrangements with the Mashantucket Pequot tribe to use the former Foxwoods employee commuter lot on Route 2, north of the school, as an overflow lot.

First Student will provide a shuttle bus to and from Bishop School every 15 minutes from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m., with stops at Hamilton Park, Rosewood Manor, and Ahepa Apartments on Hamilton Ave., and Harry Schwartz Manor on Laurel Hill.

Buses are also available to and from Stanton School from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. with stops at Westwood Park on Dunham Street and Chase Manor on Norman Road.

Buses will run to and from Kelly Middle School from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. with a stop at Wequonnoc Village in Taftville.

To avoid long lines, registrars suggest that voters go to the polls either mid-morning or mid-afternoon, if possible.

c.bessette@theday.com

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MORE INFORMATION

Voters should contact the registrars' office at (860) 823-3754 before Tuesday to verify where they must vote. The information is also available on the Secretary of the State website, at sots.ct.gov.

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