New Garfield County precinct boundaries set |

New Garfield County precinct boundaries set

Some Garfield County voters will be in new voting precincts with the upcoming 2012 election cycle, after new precinct maps were approved by the Garfield County commissioners this week.

Most of the county’s precincts will remain the same as they have been for the past 10 years, following the 2000 U.S. Census, County Clerk and Recorder Jean Alberico said.

Congressional and state legislative districts, as well as local voting precincts, are required to be adjusted after each census.

With all of Garfield County now included in the new State House District 57 and Senate District 8, and the Third Congressional District, it made precinct boundaries easier to draw, Alberico said.

One change in the Rifle area will be to shift the Precinct 19 boundary farther to the west, taking in part of what had been Precinct 22.

Precinct 19, primarily the Cottonwood Park Mobile Home, was part of House District 61 under the previous state legislative maps, while the rest of the Rifle area was in District 57.

Now that the entire county will be in HD 57, Alberico said she can make the necessary adjustments to equalize populations in some precincts where that wasn’t an option before.

“Because some precinct caucuses are held in people’s homes, you don’t want to have too many people in a single precinct,” Alberico said at the Garfield Board of County Commissioners meeting Monday, when the precinct maps were approved.

Another change will be in the New Castle area. Part of the Lakota Canyon subdivision will now be in Precinct 14 along with the older parts of town, she said. The remainder of the Castle Valley area will stay in Precinct 15.

The other major change is in the Aspen Glen area outside Carbondale, which has been split between Precincts 3, 4 and 5 for the past 10 years. Areas of Aspen Glen east of the Roaring Fork River will stay in Precinct 4, while areas west of the river will be in Precinct 3.

Previously, residents of the Precinct 5 had to travel to Glenwood Springs to vote at a polling place, Alberico said. Precincts 3 and 4 polling places are both in Carbondale.

Alberico said she had planned to redo the precinct boundaries in Carbondale to adjust for population shifts. However, the changes cannot be made in time for the scheduled Jan. 31 mail ballot election referring the Village at Crystal River development proposal to town voters.

“So, we will have to come back next year for some changes in that area,” she said.

Registered voters who will be seeing changes in their precincts or legislative districts are to receive notices in mid-January, in time for the upcoming precinct party caucuses.

Garfield County Republicans are set to have their caucus on Feb. 7, while Democrats are slated to caucus on March 6.

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