ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)– Every 10 years, district lines for Congress, the New York State Senate, and New York State Assembly are redrawn based on population numbers from the US census.
“This year, over the last 10 years, 800,000 people left Upstate New York and 800,000 people went into downstate, so there has been a change in population and these maps will reflect that change to make sure that the North Country or Western New York is the same size by population as one on Long Island,” said Jack Martins, Vice Chair of Independent Redistricting Commission.
This marks the first time in New York State history that an independent redistricting commission is redrawing the maps that otherwise would have been drawn by politicians. When it comes to congressional redistricting proposals, some testifying in Albany tonight said they are concerned about Saratoga County being lumped in with the North County.
“I think for Saratoga County, we want to be recognized as part of the Capital Region and most of the speakers here today have said the same thing. We do have a Capital Region that has a very clear identity,” stated Elizabeth Rossi, League of Women Voters Saratoga County.
Martins responded to the concerns brought up at tonight’s meeting.
“These hearings conform our effort to putting maps together so, listening to people- their concerns, and identifying those communities that they feel are in common with theirs, is important. So that the extent that the tri-cities have become the five cities and they’ve included Saratoga and Amsterdam, we are gonna do our best to make sure that we look at these maps to try to include all of those areas into a single district,” said Martins.
The commission has until the end of the year to create one map. In the meantime, hearings will continue to be held to get the public’s input.