By Sarah Marshall
The 2020 census shows not only changes in the town’s total population and make-up, but uneven changes in populations across local voting precincts. The changes are large enough to require the Town to “re-precinct” for elections beginning in 2022. A Districting Advisory Board (DAB) began work earlier this summer and must submit its recommended precinct map in mid-October; Town Council must approve the new precincts and submit them to the State by the end of October. (The urgency of the work explains this weekend announcement.)
The DAB invites the public to comment on two maps it has drafted. The draft maps, available census data, interactive mapping tools, and related materials can be accessed from the DAB committee webpage, https://www.amherstma.gov/3624/Districting-Advisory-Board.
The first draft map is available at https://bit.ly/DABMapV1 and the second draft map at https://bit.ly/DABMapV2. The link to the current precinct and district map is available here: https://bit.ly/2010AMAPrecinctMap for comparison (note that polling locations have since changed for precincts 2, 4, and 10).
To provide feedback on the draft maps, email firstname.lastname@example.org (with the subject line: DAB). The weekly DAB meetings include public comment periods and residents are welcome to offer feedback at that time. The next DAB meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 21, at 5:30 p.m.