ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – The New York State Independent Redistricting Commission, which is tasked with the once-in-a-decade process of drawing the state’s congressional lines, called it quits after it failed to submit a second draft of maps to lawmakers. Both sides said they could not reach a compromise despite months of meetings.
The task of redrawing congressional lines will now fall in the hands of the state legislative majority — in this case, the Democrats.
“It was not a simple process and it was designed in part to end up in front of the legislature after all was said and done,” Jeffrey Wice, Senior Fellow at the New York Law School Census & Redistricting Institute said.
With the fate of the state’s future now in the hands of the Democratic Party, lawmakers are urging the legislature to avoid Gerrymandering, a term used for drawing maps as a way to maintain party power.
“We know that voters deserve to be in districts that that makes sense,” Democratic Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said. “Should we have the opportunity to do that, mindful of what’s been done in the past, we will certainly do the right things right New Yorkers.”
The final map will likely be sent to Governor Kathy Hochul by early February, according to Stewart-Cousins. Hochul will need to approve the map in time for the upcoming spring primary.