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Voters in La Salle County can get help finding their polling places. - Visiting the online La Salle County polling place locator, http://polling.lasalle.il.bhamaps.com/. You can type in your address and the map will show your polling place. - Call La Salle County Clerk’s office, (815) 434-8202. - To find which ward you live in, visit newstrib.com and use the interactive Google map supplied with this story.
Some Peru voters will visit new polling places Tuesday because the city’s four wards were redrawn last year to divvy up voters more evenly.
The 2010 Census showed ward populations ranged roughly from 3,800 in Ward 1 to 1,700 in Ward 3. State law requires no more than a 10 percent difference and the Constitution mandates equal political representation.
The city had a new ward map made by consultant Bruce Harris & Associates for $16,000. The county and city approved the map.
Peru’s previous map placed the four wards side-by-side; they were long, narrow districts that ran north-south. The wards were separated by three north-south roads: Route 251, Peoria Street and Calhoun Street. The new maps abandoned these boundaries in some areas.
Mayor Scott Harl pointed to a big change in wards 2 and 3. Ward 2 now sits north of Ward 3.
“It’s the only way you could make the numbers work and follow municipal law,” Harl said.
Ward 4 is the largest geographically. It is now about 100 voters short of the evenness goal but is expected to gain population as subdivisions expand. The north part of Ward 1 experienced a housing boom since the last map was drawn in the 1970s, so the new map gave up some Ward 1 voters to Ward 2.
This bumped Ward 1 Alderman Mike Radtke’s home into Ward 2 so he is running for the Ward 2 seat now held by Alderwoman Sherry Mayszak. If Radtke loses, he can serve the remaining two years of his current term as an at-large alderman. This would give the city nine aldermen after the election on April 9.
In Ward 1, the top two vote-getters will draw by lottery to decide who serves the usual four-year term and who serves the remaining two years in Radtke’s vacated seat. There are only two candidates, Tony Ferrari and Becky Mueller. After the election they will draw by lottery to decide their term assignment.