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Monday, March 18,2013

New boundaries

About 2,000 Lansing residents will reside in a new ward under Election Commission’s plan

by Andy Balaskovitz
Friday, May 20 — The Lansing Election Commission voted unanimously today on a plan to redraw a portion of Second, Third and Fourth Ward boundaries that will change ward-of-residence for about 2,000 Lansing residents.

The commission adopted the plan — which is not subject to City Council approval — today but City Clerk Chris Swope said the changes will not take effect until after the Nov. 8 General Election. The change will affect voters in the 2013 city election, when Second and Fourth Ward seats are up for re-election, Swope confirmed.

The change puts Third Ward, precinct 3 into the Fourth Ward. Its boundaries are Mt. Hope Avenue on the north, Victor Avenue on the south, Pleasant Grove Road on the west and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard on the east.

The plan also moves the western portion of Second Ward, precinct 3 — residents west of Washington Avenue, north of Holmes Road, east of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and south of Dunlap Street — into the Third Ward.

Unofficial results from the May 3 election show 1,617 registered voters in the Third Ward, 3rd precinct. Fifty-seven percent of 345 of those who voted in this precinct supported the millage. In the 2007 General Election, Third Ward Councilwoman A’Lynne Robinson lost the third precinct to incumbent William Matt by 54 votes. Robinson ended up winning that election by 72 votes.

The Election Commission consists of Swope, City Attorney Brig Smith and City Assessor Maria Irish.

Under the City Charter, ward boundaries must be adjusted every 10 years following the Census. Ward boundaries are based on population. The latest census data require the Third Ward population to decrease and the Fourth Ward population to increase. The City Charter says that any new ward boundaries created within 120 days of a primary election are not effective until after the General Election.

Swope also said “precincts will probably be looked at again after the county and state redraws (district) lines.”

Based on census data and the Election Commission’s numbers, the Second Ward will shrink by 334 people, from 29,995 to 29,661; the Third will shrink by 1,715 people, from 30,407 to 28,692; and the Fourth will grow by 2,093 people, from 26,365 to 28,438.

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