Elections Board works to sort out districts for public
By Matt Shaw
Published in News on March 29, 2004 1:57 PM
Where are you? Possibly Goldsboro. Wayne County, most likely.
But do you know which county district you're in? Who are your state legislators? Is your home in the U.S. House's 1st or 3rd district?
Lawmakers have redrawn many of these maps, some repeatedly, in the past year. Even people who follow the process closely get confused.
The Wayne County Board of Elections is working to pin down how the changes will affect every voter. By April 26, the start of the filing period, the board should be able to tell anyone who is interested all their updated district information.
But people will need to go to the board's Web site or call. The elections office will not send out a mass mailing.
"We'd like to, but that's 57,000 pieces of mail that we'd have to send out," Elections Director Gary Sims said.
If the county did an initial mailing and then follow-up letters to returned mail, it could easily cost $20,000 to $30,000, Sims said. "We don't have that money in our budget, and it might not be cost-effective anyway."
Hopefully, people will be aware enough of the changes that they will seek out the information, he said. The elections office will run some ads and notices to prod them along.
District maps are already posted on the Board of Elections' Web site. Even more detailed maps should be available within a week or so.
This year, every seat on the Wayne County Board of Commissioners, in the N.C. House and Senate and in the U.S. House are up for election. The District 2, 3 and at-large seats on the Board of Education are also up.
The commissioners and school board use the same six districts. Each board also has an at-large member elected countywide.
The six districts were redrawn in August to balance their populations using the 2000 Census data. Although the commissioners looked at several more ambitious proposals, the one they chose moved fewer than 7,000 voters. The biggest shift was in the Rosewood community where large sections of what was District 1 are now District 4.
But the basics are still the same. District 1 is northern Wayne County; District 4, the west and southwest; and District 5, the east and southeast.
The two black-majority districts are District 2, which includes most of Goldsboro, and District 3, which ranges from downtown Goldsboro to Dudley to Mount Olive along U.S. 117 South.
Finally, District 6 contains eastern Goldsboro, some areas along U.S. 70 and the village of Walnut Creek.
The N.C. General Assembly approved new maps last November that were recently pre-cleared by federal officials. A lawsuit is still pending, but state elections officials are planning for these maps to be official.
The legislative districts will be different this year from those used in both the 2000 and 2002 elections.
The county is split between two N.C. Senate districts:
*The 5th District includes all of Greene County; portions of Pitt County; all of Wayne County precincts Saulston Fire Station (#6), New Hope Fire Department (#7), Goldsboro Friends Church (#10), Wayne Country Day School (#11), Family Y (#12), Oak Forest Church of Christ (#13), New Hope Friends Church (#14), Spring Creek High School (#15), Wayne Center (#17), W.A.G.E.S. (#18), Carver Heights School (#19), First African Baptist Church (#20), St. Luke United Methodist Church (#21), Greenwood Middle School (#22), Goldsboro Wesleyan Church (#23), Brogden Middle School (#27), Indian Springs Fire Department (#28), Edgewood School (#29) and Southern Academy (#30); and eastern parts of precincts Mount Nelson Baptist Church (#2), Mount Olive Civic Center (#25) and Dudley Fire Department (#26).
*The 12th District includes all of Johnston County; all of Wayne County precincts Fremont Fire Department (#1), Little River Fire Department (#3), Pikeville Fire Department (#4), Belfast Fire Station (#5), Oakland Fire Department (#8), Oak Heights Church (#9), American Legion Post 11 (#16) and Grantham Fire Department (#24); and western parts of precincts 2, 25 and 26.
The county is also split between three N.C. House districts:
*District 10 includes all of Greene County; parts of Lenoir County; and parts of Wayne County precincts 14, 15, 26 and 28.
*District 11 includes all of Wayne County precincts 1-9, 12, 13, 16 and 22; parts of precincts 10, 11, 14, 15, 21, 23-25, 27 and 29.
*District 21 is most of Sampson County; all of Wayne County precincts 17-20 and 30; and parts of precincts 10, 11, 21, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28 and 29.
The U.S. House districts are the same as those used in 2002, but those were changed from 2000 and previous elections. Most of Goldsboro is in the 1st District, while most county areas are in the 3rd.
For more information, go to www.waynegov.com/departments/boe/home-boe.asp or call 731-1411.
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