Proposed changes to voting precincts in Harrisonburg

Published: Jan. 10, 2022 at 9:36 PM EST
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Changes could be coming for some voters in Harrisonburg. The city’s electoral board will meet on January 24th to propose amendments to the boundary lines of the city’s eight voting precincts.

The board was originally supposed to meet on Monday morning but the meeting was postponed. Following statewide redistricting the electoral board will update the boundaries to reflect population changes within the city.

“It’s kind of an act of musical chairs in a way, if you want to adjust one precinct that might have a lower population inside the boundary you’re going to have to adjust every single precinct line,” said Mark Finks, general registrar for the city of Harrisonburg.

Virginia has a limit of 5,000 voters per precinct. Currently, the Lucy Simms Center, Stone Spring Elementary, and Smithland Elementary are the voting precincts with the largest populations.

“Spotswood Elementary has the smallest population of registered voters in the city so we are incorporating some voters in from Simms and Smithland into Spotswood to kind of even out those numbers, and we’re looking at brining some voters from Stone Spring across the ward boundary into Kiester (Elementary School),” said Finks.

The ward boundary divides the city’s two ward districts into east and west, a ward district is a section of a locality that a candidate represents, similar to how each Board of Supervisors member in Rockingham County is elected within a district.

Harrisonburg does not currently elect any candidates by ward, but they must still maintain lines in-case of future changes.

“The electoral board has looked at changed the ward line, currently Route 11 is the ward line, and we might change it to Interstate 81,” said Finks.

After proposing changes at their January 24th meeting the electoral board will bring their recommendations before city council.

The Rockingham County electoral board will meet on Tuesday morning to explore some proposed changes to the county’s voting districts.

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