Amherst’s Districting Advisory Board (DAB) has been meeting weekly since August to develop recommendations for redrawing the current voting precincts and district boundary lines based on the 2020 US Census data. The DAB is seeking public feedback on two draft precinct maps that it has prepared as the committee explores possible precinct and district boundaries.
The two draft precinct maps represent possible reconfigurations of voting precincts and districts in Amherst based on population shifts and State and local requirements. The deadline for the DAB to submit a map to the Town Council with its recommended precinct and district boundaries is October 13th. The Council then will need to review the map and vote, and the Town of Amherst then must submit the approved version to the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth and the Local Election District Review Commission (LEDRC) by the end of October.
The final map must meet certain requirements. Under State law, no precinct can have a population of 4,000 or more persons. Amherst’s home rule charter requires that voting districts, which consist of two precincts each, “to the extent possible, cluster together centers of common interest or neighborhoods, considering, but not limited to, places where people live, congregate, recreate, worship, shop, and learn."
The draft maps, available census data, interactive mapping tools, and related materials can be accessed from the DAB committee webpage, and in the DAB weekly meeting packets: https://www.amherstma.gov/3624/Districting-Advisory-Board
The first draft map is also available at this direct link and the second draft map at this direct link. Here is the link to the current precinct and district map for comparison. (note: polling places 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.
The DAB looks forward to hearing from the community to help create a useful and complete precinct and districting map for elections.
Finally, the DAB currently has two vacancies that can be filled by residents of District 2, 4, or 5. They cannot both be filled with residents from the same district. Anyone interested in joining the DAB should apply to the Town Council’s Governance, Organization, and Legislation (GOL) Committee asap. The application form is available here: https://www.amherstma.gov/82/Boards-Committees