Court order officially approves changes in election districting

WILKES-BARRE — After a court hearing on Friday, changes to polling places around the county were officially approved, meaning you could be voting somewhere different this November — especially if you live outside of the county’s largest population bases.

The changes come as a part of the continuing effort to better reflect the polling needs of various communities around the county.

The changes come as a result of a plan by now former Election Director Marisa Crispell earlier this year, which sought to add polling places to several townships in the county in order to prevent long lines on Election Day. The plan also sought to consolidate several a number of smaller polling places.

At the hearing on Friday, Luzerne County President Judge Richard M. Hughes III issued an order that unanimously approved Crispell’s proposals, but they don’t immediately take effect. Objections may be filed in county court until the end of business hours on Thursday. If no such objections are filed, the changes then go into effect.

The changes are as follows, as spelled out in Hughes’ order:

• Black Creek Township will combine its two districts into one, which will service a total of 1,231 active registered voters.

• Butler Township will increase from three to five districts, with District 1 having 1, 258 voters, District 2 having 1,420, District 3 having 923, District 4 having 1,164 and District 5 having 1,125.

• Dallas Township will increase from three to five, with District 1 having 882 voters, District 2 having 1,364, District 3 having 954, District 4 having 1,086 and District 5 having 1,071.

• Fairview Township’s one district will be split in two, with District 1 having 1,436 and District 2 having 1,447 voters.

• Freeland’s two districts will become one, merging to serve a total of 1,637 voters.

• Kingston’s number of districts remains the same, but the lines have been redrawn, leading its eight districts to fall between 844 and 1,080 voters.

• Kingston Township, meanwhile, picks up an extra district, increasing from three to four. They range in size between 945 and 1,426 voters.

• Luzerne’s two districts become one, which will serve 1,573 voters.

• Newport Township’s District 2 and District 3 will combine into a new District 3, that will serve 1,440 voters. The original District 1 remains with 948 voters.

• Rice Township’s one district will become two, with the first serving 1,344 voters and the second serving 1,344.

• Salem Township’s two existing districts will have their lines altered to redistribute its voters more evenly. Its two districts will now serve 976 and 1,151 voters, respectively.

• Sugarloaf Township triples its number of districts, going from one to three. District 1 will serve nearly 900 voters, with the other two serving just shy of 800 each.

• Wright Township goes from two to four, ranging between 690 and 1,280 voters.

Polling places changed due to ADA issues

The approval of these changes comes only a few days after the county Board of Elections also approved a series of changes in polling places as the original polling places were not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The new polling places are buildings that are handicap accessible. These changes did not require court approval

All of the changes in polling places, both due to the ADA changes and additional ones created through Hughes’ order, are listed below:

• In Bear Creek Township District 3, the polling place moves from the Bear Creek Township Hose Company to Penn Lake Association Community Center, located at 1744 Lakeview Drive, White Haven.

• In Bear Creek Village, the polling place formerly at the Bear Creek Association Club House moves to St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Church, located at 5700 Bear Creek Blvd., Bear Creek.

• The Dupont Borough Hall has been replaced by the Dupont VFW, 401 Main St., Dupont.

• The Hollenback Township Municipal Building has been replaced by the St. James Lutheran Church, located at 827 East Country Road, Wapwallopen.

• Huntington Township’s American Legion Post 495 has been replaced by Town Hill Methodist Church, 417 Town Hill Road, Shickshinny.

• The Lehman Township Municipal Building has been replaced by Back Mountain Regional Emergency Services, 184 E. Center Hill Road, Dallas.

• Lehman Township’s Dallas Baptist Church has also been replaced by the Back Mountain Regional Emergency Services.

• New Columbus Borough’s New Columbus Academy Memorial Hall has been replaced by the Town Hill Methodist Church, 417 Town Hill Road, Shickshinny.

• The Pittston Township Volunteer Fire/EMT Facility is no longer available, so voters who previously went there will now go to the Dupont DPW Garage at 150 Commerce Road, Pittston.

• Salem Township’s Beach Haven United Methodist Church has been replaced by the Berwick Assembly of God Church, 801 East Fifth St., Berwick.

• Sugar Notch’s Holy Family Roman Catholic Church has been replaced by the Warrior Run Fire Hall, at 316 Academy St., Warrior Run

Polling places changed and created due to redistricting:

• The newly created Butler Township District 4 will vote at the Butler Township Municipal Building, Rear Garage, 83 Corporate Drive, Drums.

• Dallas Township’s new District 2 will change from the Dallas Township Municipal Garage to the Misericordia University Anderson Sports and Health Center, 301 Lake St., Dallas.

• Dallas Township’s new Ward 3 will change from Fellowship Evangelical Free Church at 45 Hildebrandt Road, Dallas, to the Dallas Township Municipal Garage.

• Dallas Township’s new Wards 4 and 5 will vote at the Fellowship Evangelical Free Church.

Fairview Township’s new District 2 will vote at the Fairview Township Municipal Building, located at 65 Shady Tree Drive, Mountain Top.

• Freeland’s consolidated single district will now vote at the Freeland Ambulance Association, 417 Johnson St., Freeland.

Kingston’s new Ward 1 has been changed from Kingston Gardens to the Church of Christ United Methodist Church, 190 S. Sprague Ave., Kingston.

• Kingston’s new Ward 2 was changed from the Kingston Municipal Building also to the Church of Christ United Methodist Church.

• Kingston’s new War 4 was changed from Holy Trinity Church to the JCC at 613, SJ Strauss Lane, Kingston.

• Kingston’s new Ward 5 was changed from the Masonic Lodge 395 to the Kingston Municipal Building, 500 Wyoming Ave., Kingston.

• Kingston’s new Wards 7 and 8 were both changed from the Kingston Recreation Center to the JCC.

Kingston Township’s new District 1 was changed from the St. Frances Cabrini Church to the Trucksville United Methodist Church, 40 Knob Hill Road, Shavertown.

• Kingston Township’s new Ward 3 was changed from the Trucksville United Methodist Church to the Cross Creek Community Church, located at 370 Carverton Road, Shavertown. The newly created Ward 4 will also vote there.

• Luzerne’s newly consolidated district will vote at the Holy Family Catholic Church, 574 Bennett St., Luzerne.

• Newport Township’s new Ward 1 has been changed from the Glen Lyon Italian American Sporting Club to the Newport Township Building Meeting Room, 351 W. Kirmar Ave., Nanticoke.

• Newport Township’s new Ward 2 was moved from the township building to the Municipal Garage, 351 W. Kirmar Ave., Nanticoke.

• Rice Township’s new District 1 will vote at the Cornerstone Christian Fellowship, 3577 Church Road, Mountain Top.

• Rice Township’s new District 2 will vote at the American Legion Mountain Post 781, 1550 Henry Drive, Mountain Top.

• Sugarloaf Township’s districts 1 and 2 will both vote at the Sugarloaf Volunteer Fire Company, 95 E. County Road, Drums.

• Sugarloaf Tonwship’s District 3 will vote at the township municipal building at 154 Main St., Sybertsville.

• Wright Township’s districts 1 and 2 will both vote at the Wright Township Fire/EMT, 477 S. Main Road, Mountain Top.

• Wright Township’s districts 3 and 4 will both vote at the Mountain Top Family Church, 209 S. Mountain Boulevard, Mountain Top.