4 min read

Current Precincts May be Split Under MA House Redistricting

Several existing Framingham precincts would be split between two different Massachusetts House districts in the latest redistricting plan announced this week, according to newly released geospatial files from the state legislature’s special redistricting committee.

So, the proposed new redistricting plan isn’t necessarily as straightforward as “Precinct 5 is moving to the 7th Middlesex District and Precinct 3 is moving to the 6th Middlesex”, as I said earlier this week. Adding to the complexity is that the city has proposed new precinct boundaries in the wake of 2020 Census results, but the Legislature’s current plan doesn’t seem to have taken those into effect (at least according to comments I’ve read on social media from people much more knowledgeable about the process than I am).

While the bulk of Precinct 5 would be moved to the 7th Middlesex District, a small part would remain in the 6th, for example.

Below is an interactive map I generated from the new GIS files released by the redistricting committee. You can click on the map’s eyeglass icon at the top left to search for an address (start typing the address and wait for options to appear, then choose one; this is not like Google Maps where you can enter numerous variations of the same address) and then roll over to see the current precinct and proposed new House district.

A cautionary note: It can be difficult to ascertain exact boundaries when overlaying district shapes onto an existing map, because both must have been created in the exact same way (if you want to get technical, characteristics like projections and coordinate reference systems; slight misalignments can cause issues).

However, after attempting to ensure both the shapes and underlying map are exactly the same, this is what I see. Scroll below the map to find out how you can double-check where your address actually falls.

If you’d like another way to see where your address would be assigned under the proposed House redistricting plan, the committee also released a spreadsheet of Census blocks and their new House district assignments. A Census block is the Census Bureau’s smallest unit of measure - what it says is “The building blocks for all geographic boundaries the Census Bureau tabulates data for.”

You can find the Census block for an address with the Census Bureau’s geocoder. Enter your address at the link above, and you’ll get a lot of information about its location. Scroll down the results until you see “GEOID” under the “2020 Census Blocks” heading. Copy that GEOID and then search for it in the table below - hopefully your block is included in the data I subsetted for the table!

The committee is accepting written comments about the proposal until 5 p.m. October 18. See more info on the committee’s website.

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