New Murrysville voting precincts approved |

New Murrysville voting precincts approved

Patrick Varine

Murrysville voters in the Newlonsburg and Sardis precincts will likely be standing in long lines on election day this November.

The good news? It will be the last time.

On Monday morning, Westmoreland County Judge Chris Scherer approved a redistricting plan that will split the massive precincts — which have more than 3,500 registered voters each, more than three times the maximum size of a voter precinct allowed under state law — adding a new polling place to each.

“There will be a lot of very happy people on election day, starting in 2020,” said Maury Fey of Murrysville, who along with Murrysville-Export Republican Committee Chair Tom Wubben began pushing in December 2018 for the county elections bureau to re-examine the two precincts. Voters in both the 2016 and 2018 elections endured long lines and wait times up to two hours.

A Tribune-Review analysis after the 2018 midterms showed that about 15 percent of Westmoreland County precincts exceed the state’s recommended precinct size. Very few though, approached the level of the Newlonsburg and Sardis precincts.

Fey and Wubben joined with members of the Murrysville-Export Democratic Committee in petitioning the courts to start the redistricting process, then began working with the elections bureau to create the new precincts.

“I think the election bureau pretty much went with the map we drew up,” Wubben said.

The initial redistricting called for Newlonsburg to be split, with 1,490 voters assigned to one precinct that votes at the Newlonsburg Presbyterian Church and 1,654 voters moved to Emmanuel Reformed United Church of Christ.

The proposed Newlonsburg 2 precinct would include the neighborhoods north of the Franklin Regional school campus between School Road South and Cline Hollow Road. The remaining section of the existing precinct will be part of the new Newlonsburg 1 district.

Those changes will be part of the revised plan along with a proposal that will similarly split the Sardis district, with one precinct containing about 1,600 registered voters and a second with 1,800 voters.

The revised Sardis 1 precinct would share a border with Allegheny County at Golden Mile Highway and include areas near Logan Ferry Road to Harvest Drive, Sardis Road and Bulltown Road. The proposed Sardis 2 precinct would run north and west of Sardis 1 and border Washington Township.

“We’re going to reduce those lines considerably,” Wubben said. “We’re very happy with it.”

The changes will go into effect in time for the presidential primary election in the spring of 2020.

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, [email protected] or via Twitter .

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.