BIDDEFORD — Some residents of Green Street have been voting for the wrong state House candidates for eight years.

Voters on one side of Green Street have been included incorrectly in House District 135 since the state’s last redistricting took effect in 2004. The line between districts 135 and 136 runs down the center of a section of Green Street, confusing city officials, who considered the entire street part of District 135.

City Clerk Carmen Morris said the mistake was revealed when City Councilor and state House candidate Bob Mills moved around the corner from Graham Street to Green Street. Mills is challenging Rep. Megan Rochelo for the District 136 Democratic nomination.

Morris said that after updating Mills’ address, she notified him that his new house was in District 135 so his move could affect his candidacy.

Mills said he was surprised to learn that his “move over the fence” had put him into a new district because he was certain of the district lines.

It made him remember comments that Green Street residents had made to him after he lost the District 136 nomination to Rochelo in 2010.

“Several people on Green Street said they wanted to vote for me but I wasn’t on the ballot,” he said.

At that time, Mills looked at a state House district map and realized that a section of Green Street should have been considered part of District 136.

He said he was told by the city staff that, for any change to be made, voters would have to challenge the issue. This year, he and the city staff contacted state officials to clarify the district lines.

“I’m very happy it finally is sorted out,” he said. “I’m amazed the voting line has been incorrect since 2004.”

Morris said it was good that the issue came to light so city officials could correct the mistake. She said the district map was confusing because the dividing line runs down the middle of only part of Green Street.

Letters clarifying the district lines were sent late last week to 50 registered voters. The city has nearly 13,000 registered voters. All of Green Street remains in the city’s Ward 5, which Mills represents.

David Boynton of Green Street said he hadn’t heard of any issues with district lines before he got the letter from the city. He said he was more concerned with making sure he still lived in Ward 5 because he pays attention to city issues.

“As far as I’m concerned, as long as I’m in the same ward, the rest of it doesn’t bother me one way or another,” he said.

 

Staff Writer Gillian Graham can be contacted at 791-6315 or at: [email protected]

Twitter: grahamgillian