The Laurel City Council approved multiple changes to the city's elections laws at their meeting Monday, July 23. The changes will shift the boundaries of the city's two voting wards, alter the way votes are tallied and released and increases the number of campaign reports submitted by election candidates.
Every 10 years the city, using new census data, is required to reexamine the city's voting wards to account for population inequalities.
According to 2010 census data, there was a 42 percent to 58 percent population disparity between Ward 1 and Ward 2. The council took the advisory committee's recommendation, developed by the city's deputy director of community planning Jack Brock, which balances the wards and creates a minority majority ward in Ward 2.
The resolution moves the area south of Route 198, east of Van Dusen Road, north of Marton Street and west of Harrison Drive from Ward 2 into Ward 1.
The city will now release unofficial results on the Tuesday following the election. The official results, which include results from the paper-submitted early voting and absentee ballots, will be released on Wednesday evenings following Tuesday elections.
The new legislation requires candidates to submit three campaign disclosure reports: one 45 days before the election, one 15 days before the election and one by 5 p.m. the Thursday after the election. The current legislation requires only one campaign disclosure report be submitted 60 days after the election.