Legislative Districts to be redrawn

ELLSWORTH — If the 126th Legislature agrees, residents of several Hancock County communities will find themselves in new legislative districts — House and Senate — when they cast their votes in the next general election.

Legislative districts must be updated every 10 years based on population.

A bipartisan Apportionment Commission appointed to redraw district lines unanimously approved compromise maps for House and Senate districts last week.

Under the Maine Constitution, the new maps, based on the 2010 census, must now be approved by a two-thirds vote of the full Legislature by June 11.

Shifts in population, notably from northern to southern Maine, have resulted in significant changes in the makeup of many legislative districts across the state.

According to Maine’s population, the ideal size for each of the 151 House districts is 8,797 people and the ideal population for each of the 35 Senate districts is 37,953.

Under the compromise plans, every district is within plus or minus 5 percent of that ideal size.

District 28 now will include Amherst, Aurora, Bar Harbor, Blue Hill, Brooklin, Brooksville, Cranberry Isles, Deer Isle, Eastbrook, Ellsworth, Franklin, Frenchboro, Hancock, Lamoine, Mariaville, Mount Desert, Osborn, Otis, Sedgwick, Sorrento, Southwest Harbor, Stonington, Surry, Swan’s Island, Tremont, Trenton and Waltham.

Gouldsboro, Sullivan and Winter Harbor will become part of Senate District 29, which includes all of Washington County.

The Hancock County towns of Bucksport, Castine, Dedham, Great Pond, Orland, Penobscot and Verona Island will be part of Senate District 31, along with the Penobscot County communities of Bradley, Brewer, Burlington, Clifton, Eddington, Holden, Lincoln, Lowell and Orrington.

As is now the case, Hancock County communities will be spread among eight House districts. But in several instances, those districts will see some striking differences in their makeup.

District 30, which continues to stretch across three counties, will include the Hancock County towns of Amherst, Aurora, Eastbrook, Franklin and Great Pond; the Penobscot County towns of Bradford, Bradley, Edinburg, Greenbush, Lagrange and Passadumkeag; and the Washington County towns of Beddington, Deblois, Northfield and Wesley.

District 34 now will include Mariaville and Osborn, formerly in District 30, along with Gouldsboro, Hancock, Sorrento, Sullivan, Waltham, Winter Harbor and the Washington County town of Steuben.

Lamoine, currently in District 34, now will join with the Mount Desert Island towns of Bar Harbor and Mount Desert in District 35.

District 36 will include Cranberry Isles, Deer Isle, Frenchboro, Southwest Harbor, Stonington, Swan’s Island and Tremont, along with the Waldo County island communities of Isle au Haut, North Haven and Vinalhaven.

District 37 will be made up of Blue Hill, Brooklin, Brooksville, Castine, Sedgwick and Surry.

District 38 now consists of Ellsworth and Trenton.

Bucksport and Orrington will remain together as District 40.

District 41 will be reshaped to include the Hancock County towns of Dedham, Orland, Otis, Penobscot and Verona Island, and the Waldo County towns of Prospect and Stockton Springs.

Should the Legislature fail to approve the compromise plans, the redistricting proposals would then go to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court for resolution.

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Hugh Bowden

Hugh Bowden

Executive Editor
Hugh writes editorials, covers Hancock County sports and helps out where needed in The American's editorial department. When he's not on the sidelines, he enjoys playing jazz and tennis. [email protected]
Hugh Bowden

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