"We just felt like making it easy for the citizens to be able to figure out how those changes affected them directed," says Gene Hume, GIS Coordinator for Buncombe County. The webpage, created by Vicki Magnis, pulled data from the state and functions like Google Maps. Users enter their address or their PIN (Parcel Identification Number) to find out their district (both congressional and state), precinct representatives and polling place. When a user clicks on the address of their listed polling place, it gives them directions on how to get there by using Google Maps. Though this information is available to the public through the state's board of elections website, Hume says this is the first time Buncombe County GIS has partnered with the Office of Election Services to create something like this.
"There's a lot of functionality to this data," Humes says, adding, "We knew it should be a primary goal of things we need to do." The webpage launched about two weeks ago. Originally, Humes explains, he wanted to create a website to show voters what the changes to the new district lines looked like. However, in the end, they decided it would be easier and less cluttered to just show voters their current district.
The new district lines, released July 1 and then later revised July 19, divided Asheville and put most of the city in the 10th District (currently represented by Republican Patrick McHenry of Hickory), while leaving some portions in Democrat Heath Shuler's 11th District.
To find your district, click here
Hume says the webpage will work on iPads and iPhones with iOS 5 installed, but not iOS 4. They are still in the process of testing the webpage on Android phones.