Does this make sense?
For the political junkies lurking this evening, here is something to think about. Isn't it about time for Allegheny County to reform the number of voting districts it has? We gnash over the 128 (+ 2 halves) municipalities we have, but we have over 1,200 voting districts. Sure, some make sense, but given a century of population changes it is time to rethink how many voting districts we maintain. So many, some pathologically small, voting districts incur all sorts of costs without much benefit. You need to buy and maintain machines. The county needs to find a small army of poll workers to support all those centers, something that is a problem in many parts of the region. I personally wonder if the sheer number of districts have issues with oversight, training and transparency. Then there is the sheer inefficiency of it all. How many polling locations that are actually co-located with other polling districts? Does that make sense? I once voted in a location that had machines for 4 distinct districts co-located for one election cycle. In fact, I just walked past two polling locations closer to my house as I went to my polling location. So real costs, and real management nightmares for the county maintaining so many individual voting districts. It isn't clear to me what the benefits are at all. This isn't like municipal fragmentation where folks like or dislike their local government structure... are people emotionally attached to voting in "Ward 8 - District 5"?? Probably not, but nobody works up much of a sweat to change anything either. Given that we do these elections all the time, the costs have to add up.
Below is what the county's voting district structure looks like currently. Not quite a Rorschach test, more like a Rube Goldberg machine as a map.