ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – New York State’s Independent Redistricting Commission hit a once-in-a-decade roadblock after the two congressional maps it proposed were shot down by the state legislature. The proposals were “overwhelmingly rejected,” according to lawmakers.
The commission has until mid-January to create and submit a new map. If the new proposal is rejected, the Democratic-controlled legislature would draw their own congressional districts.
“With that comes the concern of gerrymandering and using [their power] for political advantage,” Republican Assemblyman Philip Palmesano said.
The fate of the state’s future resting in the hands of the New York State Legislature is never what lawmakers intended — the New York State Independent Redistricting Commission was created in 2014 to ensure the process of creating congressional lines would be fair and non-partisan.
“It’s very difficult for us to rectify [the situation] when there was so much disparity between these sets of maps,” Democratic Assemblywoman Dr. Anna Kelles told 18 News.
New York’s petition process for the 2022 election is also hanging in the balance as a result of the delay, according to Palmesano.
“We’re certainly up against a tight time frame given the fact that the petition process is supposed to start in February and the primary [is in] June,” Palmesano said.
Palmesano told 18 News there has been speculation the primary election could be pushed back, though nothing is confirmed.
Lawmakers expect to have a better understanding as to how the redistricting process will play out come mid-January.