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HOPKINTON - The new district maps that were approved by the Rhode Island Reappointment Commission in December, 2011 will impact many cities and towns throughout the state. Hopkinton could be one of the communities most drastically affected by the redistricting, because it will become split between two house districts, 38 and 39, and have to add a fourth polling location in town.
Town Councilman Scott Bill Hirst has opposed splitting Hopkinton up from the start, and last week, he stood up and made his case heard at the state house.
Hirst, along with fellow councilman Frank Landolfi, presented an alternate district plan to the Senate and House Judiciary Committees on Tuesday, Jan. 24.
According to Hirst, the state approved House Plan D would mark the first time in history that Hope Valley would be split into two voting districts. He said that this would almost certainly cause Hopkinton to have to add a fourth polling location, and could also dilute Hopkintonâ€™s power in the state house.
The councilmen want Hopkinton to be kept whole.
Hirst and Landolfiâ€™s proposal would shift 1,411 voters between districts, and keep the town in one house district. This would save the town money by not having to add a fourth polling location.
â€śThe main thing is the expense to the town of adding at fourth polling place,â€ť said Landolfi.
Hirst said that the alternate plan he and Landolfi proposed is absolutely a viable option, and tends to make more sense than House Plan D, mostly because of itâ€™s origin and the direction of the changes.
For more information, pick up a copy of The Chariho Times.