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Know your district

May 17, 2012 - By Steven R. Peck

Election boundaries have changed this year, so learn what's what

The filing period for the Aug. 21 primary election has begun, and prospective candidates are weighing the options on jumping into the electoral ring.

Elections are about voters as well as candidates, and this year things are going to be different for some of those voters.

If you are a registered voter, then you've probably received a card recently from the Fremont Count Clerk's office notifying you of your correct voting precinct and ward, your Fremont County Commission district, your Wyoming House or Representatives district and your Wyoming Senate district now that changes mandated by the government have been made following an accounting of the redistribution of population via the U.S. Census.

Producing the cards probably was a headache for the clerk's office, but this is an important service now that boundary lines have been redrawn in some places.

One note about the cards: If your voter information seems to be the same as it was before, that's because it is the same. There have been some well-discussed changes, but most Fremont County voters are in the same precincts and districts they were in 2010.

Don't assume that your situation has changed just because you got the card. Everyone got one, even those whose voting boundaries haven't changed.

We'd venture to say that even voters whose districts and polling paces didn't change would be happy enough to see the information written down. Find a spot on the refrigerator door and save the card. There are enough different political divisions now that it's not easy to remember them all.

This will take awhile to shake itself out, but the clerk's office is leading the way toward an orderly vote under different circumstances for some voters.

As the election filing period begins, public attention will start to become more focused on the 2012 vote. Step 1 for you as a voter is to make sure you understand which of the various wards, precincts and districts you are in. In some cases, the person you thought was your commissioner or representative won't be anymore.

Once the changes are clear, you'll be on your way toward the far more important task of identifying the candidates who want to represent you and making an informed decision about your vote.

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