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Overstuffed precinct list grows in city

Posted by: Steve Brandt under People and neighborhoods, Politics and government, Public records, Urban living Updated: February 28, 2013 - 5:06 PM

This blog told you earlier this month that 17 Minneapolis voting precincts failed the suggestion by the Minnesota Secretary of State’s office that precincts contain no more than 2,500 voters

That was then, based on the number of preregistered voters on Election Day.  Now an update based on those added to the rolls through Election-Day registration shows that the number of stuffed precincts has jumped to 25.

Lines at Seward Tower East    staff photo by Bill McAuliffe

Lines at Seward Tower East staff photo by Bill McAuliffe

Four of those precincts have more than 3,000 registered voters, according to an updated voting list from the Secretary of State, led by 3,593 people registered to vote at Sibley Park in the 12th Ward.

But the ward with the most stuffed precincts is the 13th Ward in southwest Minneapolis, where  six of nine precincts were over the 2,500-voter threshold.  The 13th is traditionally a one of the city’s highest-turnout wards.

But despite its bulging voter rolls, the 13th has none of the 11 problem precincts identified by the City Clerk’s office. Those are precincts where the location or capacity of the voting place, its accessibility, parking or other factors helped create delays of up to several hours in voting, and where the city is focusing efforts at correcting conditions.

Of course, lines can have nothing to do with the facility. Areas with high numbers of mobile residents, such as renters or students, are more likely to be bogged down with lines for Election-Day registrants. So are areas where higher numbers of voters speak other languages.  That’s one reason that the city is backing state legislation to permit early voting, which would allow residents to cast ballots and a voting center before Election Day.

For the record, here is the city’s list of problematic precincts: Ward 2 Precinct 9, Seward Towers East; 3-3, Marcy Open School; 3-4, Spring Manor Highrise;  5-6, Heritage Commons; 6-2, Stevens Square Apartments; 8-2, Painter Park; 8-5 Watershed High School; 10-2, Ballentine VFW Post; 12-3, St. Peder’s Evangelical Lutheran Church; 12-6, Minnehaha United Methodist Church; and 12-8, Sibley Park.

The clerk’s office is planning an annual assessment of all polling places.
 

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