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Lewis election officials drop one election district in Lowville

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LOWVILLE — Lewis County officials have completed an election map revision that cuts the number of districts from 36 to 35.

“We were able to consolidate a couple of districts in Lowville,” said Ann M. Nortz, county Republican election commissioner.

The town of Lowville for nearly a decade has been split into six election districts, with four different legislators representing portions of the town.

However, under the redistricting plan approved by county lawmakers earlier this year, legislative district lines in the county’s most populous town have shifted, giving election officials the opportunity to reduce the number of election districts in the town to five.

That should allow the county to employ four fewer poll workers on election days, providing some savings, Mrs. Nortz said.

Election commissioners commended the county’s tax map technicians for their help over the past couple of months in redrawing election maps.The changes will take effect for this fall’s elections, in which all 10 legislative seats will be up for grabs.

Under the new plan, District 3 includes the northern part of the town, along with all of Denmark except the Castorland area.

District 5 encompasses nearly the entire village. It is split into two election districts, as it exceeds the state limit of 950 registered voters per district, according to commissioners.

District 6 is the eastern part of the town and all of Watson.

District 7 includes the western part of the town, along with all of Martinsburg and Turin.

While the previous legislative district map split only the towns of Lowville and Croghan, the new one additionally splits the town of Denmark. Boundaries will shift at least slightly in the northern and central districts, while the three southern districts will remain unchanged.

The goal of redistricting, every 10 years, is to keep each district as close as possible to the average population, now 2,709 .

County election officials last year had to increase the number of election districts from 31 to 36 to accommodate three villages — Constableville, Lyons Falls and Port Leyden — that switched their elections to November, as both Lyons Falls and Port Leyden are split between two towns.

But all 19 polling sites stayed the same, and only two poll workers had to be added to at one site. While all other town sites are expected to be used again this year, the Lowville polling site — the former St. Peter’s Catholic School on Shady Avenue — likely will not be.

The Jefferson-Lewis Board of Cooperative Educational Services is proceeding with plans to lease and later buy that building, now home to the Board of Elections and a couple of other county offices. Legislators plan to move the elections office temporarily into the Lowville Commons on South State Street, but commissioners are looking at other potential polling sites in the town in case the old school is unavailable.

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