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To the Editor:
New state legislative redistricting outrageously slices and dices West Hartford. While we strive to build a community of inclusion and unity, the new district lines disregard all of that.
What were essentially three West Hartford districts are now shared town lines. In the 18th and 20th Districts, two parts of our town – in the southeast and northeast corners – are lopped off and swallowed up in districts that will be dominated by the interests of Hartford and Bloomfield. Moreover, the 20th is pushed out of town for a district that is some 40% Newington voters.
As our town’s past state senator, I went through two earlier decennial redistrictings. So, I know this did not have to be done like this now. In fact, it’s contrary to basic standards for responsible redistricting. Legislative district lines should respect communities of interest and minimize breaking town lines. In our case, it is all due to this putting the fix in so that Hartford’s declining population does not result in any fewer Hartford-dominated districts – notwithstanding West Hartford’s growing population.
Add to the cost to our local taxpayers. Now, there is no way to reconfigure voting districts without requiring two separate sets of election day officials at several polling places where voters will require different ballots based on split legislative district lines.
Don’t blame our own legislators because they had no say and no vote. Sadly, as one of Connecticut’s largest and most successful communities, we get no respect.
Kevin B. Sullivan
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