Political Division

What is the difference between a ward and a precinct?

Someone asked me this as I drove through another town.

The political signs in that town all had ward numbers and ward members listed.

Truth was I wasn’t sure what the difference was. I assumed that by State law one could have a ward or a precinct.

It is still not clear to me what the differences are. So I publish what I have found and hopefully someone will comment and clarify until we have a clear understanding of the terms.

Methuen is made up, at a local level of 3 Districts and 12 precincts. Each District has 4 precincts.

I found these definitions on the US Census Bureau website. They are stuck in the fine print.

  • A precinct defines your voting place (everyone in one precinct votes in one place).
  • A precinct is the smallest unit of local administration or of vote counting.
  • A Ward comprises several precincts if you live in a city.
  • A District comprises several precincts if you live in a town.
  • A town has no wards (that’s the difference between a city and a town, for election purposes), i.e., a town is only broken up into precincts, not wards.

So if we start at our home and move upward we get the following graphic;

  • Home—-Neighborhood—-Precinct—-Ward/District—City/Town     

So I found that Methuen has a structure that is consistent with our being a town and not a city.

Remember when it was the Town of Methuen? 

Then we became the City known as the Town of Methuen.

Now we are the City of Methuen.

Maybe our next Charter will actually call us a City and set us up as such. Who knows.

Kind of funny that the current crop of politicos seem to act as if, since the Town has an alias, AKA, The City of Methuen, they should all act like criminals.

Maybe that’s why we have so many high profile lawsuits and so much law-bending activity. Nah, that can’t be it, I’m sure it’s in the water. Oh, that’s another blog for another time.

admin posted at 2009-10-17 Category: Uncategorized

One Response Leave a comment

  1. #1Dustin Burke @ 2009-10-17 21:40

    Wow, there’s a fun little fact that even the Yahoo! Answers community couldn’t answer – and they know everything. Dad, you’re WICKED SMAHT. :)


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