New RI Political Map Passes

A new political map for Rhode Island was by a commission Monday. It gave the go ahead to a plan that was first introduced the week before. That map moves 75 thousand voters between the state's two districts, and has faced quite a bit of criticism, everything from un-fair to political shenanigans.

The vote came down after weeks of debate from the public. The new map keeps Smithfield and North Smithfield in district one. Congressman Cicilline's district. It  moves republican leaning Burrillville to Congressman Langevin's district. It also changes Providence.     

Not everyone on the commission is in agreement with the plan. “If we do have to make that switch in Providence,” said Representative Daniel Reilly, “We can easily make that switch of 72 hundred voters within the city of Providence, and we wouldn't have to start changing other communities. I really think that was unnecessary.”

“Although it's a change in number, a large number, you're going to see that the communities of interest aren't dis-served by that,” said Representative Stephen Ucci.

The new map is not as drastic as previous plans put forth by designer Kimball Brace. Those plans faced lots of criticism last week. This map, is the same one introduced last Thursday.

“We haven't heard an awful lot of reaction to the congressional map,” President of Election Data Services Kimball Brace, “We've been monitoring our web site usage and all of that. We didn't have a lot of people writing in terms of comments.”

But we did see a handful of people voice their concerns about being moved to a new district. Common Cause Executive Director John Marion is disappointed the public was ignored.

“Last week, I was under the impression that some of the changes we were hearing the public ask about were going to be made and it doesn't look like some of those were made,” said Marion.

This will now go to the General Assembly. The state Senate and House redistricting maps also passed, but there are still going to be changes in certain districts.