Mayagüez, Arecibo, Ponce most affected in Senate redistricting
By The Star Staff
The chairwoman of the Constitutional Board for the Review of Senatorial and Representative Electoral Districts, Puerto Rico Supreme Court Chief Justice Maite Oronoz Rodríguez, presented the new geographical configurations for the House and Senate districts that will be in effect in the next election.
Individuals have 10 days to object to the new configurations.
The Senate districts of Mayagüez, Arecibo and Ponce suffered the greatest geographical changes because the first two have increased in population, while the third has seen a decline.
Two municipalities, Guaynabo and Juana Díaz, were divided for electoral purposes. Guaynabo will now be divided between the Senate districts of San Juan and Bayamón, while Juana Díaz will be split between the Senate districts of Ponce and Guayama.
Senate District 3 of Arecibo lost the municipality of Ciales, while Senate District 4 of Mayagüez ceded the municipality of Las Marías. The two towns will now be part of the Ponce Senate district.
Senate districts 1, from San Juan, and 2, from Bayamón, suffered very small changes.
Meanwhile, the Senate districts of Guayama, Humacao and Carolina suffered no changes to their geographical configuration.
Oronoz Rodríguez noted that the review board tried to make minimal changes to the district map. Some 76 municipalities were maintained without divisions.
As for the 40 representative districts, she said districts 29, 32, 35, 36 and 37 remained unchanged and the remaining 34 underwent some modification with respect to the electoral distribution of 2011.
She said the board tried to maintain the principle of equal value and weight of the vote of every person, which is known as the “principle of one person, one vote,” and thus avoid discriminatory electoral distribution.