The Villages Voice - May 2011

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Sumter County Vote Notes

by Karen Krauss Supervisor of Elections

SUMTER COUNTY VOTE NOTES

 

Moving the Cheese ~ A Guide to Reapportionment

 

There’s a book called Who Moved My Cheese, by Spencer Johnson, MD that talks about how we deal with change. Change is something we can all count on and it will be coming to Sumter County in 2012 as reapportionment, which occurs every ten years following the census. This means that Senate, House and Congressional district lines may be redrawn from where they now exist. Sumter County currently has one Congressional District (District 5), two House Districts (Districts 42 & 44) and two Senate Districts (Districts 15 & 20). Here is some basic information regarding this process:

What is reapportionment?

Reapportionment refers to the allocation of the number of congressional seats among the states or legislative seats among the counties. It’s referred to as reapportionment because this process is carried out every ten years. Apportionment is determined at the federal level using the Method of Equal Proportions adopted in 1941.

What is redistricting?

Once apportionment is established, it is up to each individual state to draw its own congressional and legislative boundaries. This process is called redistricting and it involves adjusting established electoral district boundaries in response to population shifts. Conventional thinking is that areas of faster growth are entitled to more representation, with the opposite being true as well.

Why is this done?

To ensure equality of government representation among the states proportional to the population, Article 1, Section 2, of the U.S. Constitution established that the apportionment of the U.S. House of Representatives shall be based upon a national census. The first census was taken in 1790, with the 2010 census being the twenty?third census in the history of our country.

What does this mean to me?

A legislative district, precinct boundary or polling place may need to be changed. If you reside within this area, you will be notified by the receipt of an updated voter information card, notices in the local newspaper and a notice will be placed on our website.

Relocation of a polling place is never taken lightly by the elections office, but may be necessary based on the outcome of redistricting, losing the use of a building for various reasons, and the need to consolidate precincts for budget reduction purposes. Of course, voting by mail and early voting are options available to all registered voters.

 

So, although change is inevitable, we will do our best to make it as painless as possible. We will be sure to keep you informed along the way.

 

QUOTE FOR THE MONTH:  A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

 

Karen S. Krauss, Supervisor of Elections

Sumter County