Redistricting deadline approaches without approved maps
ALBANY, NY (NEWS10) – Every 10 years, district lines for federal and state elections are redrawn based on the latest census counts. Political parties regularly used this as a chance to draw cards in ways that maintained party power. This year, the New York State Independent Redistricting Commission was supposed to change all that.
The commission has been working on it for months since the release of the 2020 census numbers. After trying to agree on a single map for Congress, the New York State Senate, and assembly lines, it won’t Doesn’t look like they’ll be able to submit one to the state legislature on Tuesday.
“It’s disappointing,” said Assemblyman Chris Tague. “The voters asked for it. They asked for an independent body to organize the redistricting and it became political as usual.
On January 10, the Independent Redistricting Commission presented two maps to the New York State Legislature. Both failed overwhelmingly, rejected by both Democrats and Republicans. The commission, made up of five Democrats and five Republicans, was supposed to present a single set of cards on Tuesday. “They call themselves the Independent Redistricting Commission, that’s a bit of a misnomer,” said New York State Constitutionalist Christopher Bopst.
Both sides admit they are at an impasse. In a joint statement, the Democratic commissioners say their Republican colleagues have refused to agree on a compromise. The Republican commissioners say Democrats deliberately scuttled the process so the legislature — controlled by Democratic supermajorities — can determine district boundaries.
Assemblyman John McDonald told News 10 what is likely to happen next. “Both chambers have a committee that has monitored and been involved throughout the public process of the Independent Redistricting Commission over the past year,” he said.
The legislature will need to act quickly in the coming weeks, as petitions for the next election cycle will be sent out in early March.