Ulster County allowing residents to submit maps for redistricting plan

Local
2020 Census

FILE – This April 5, 2020, photo shows an envelope containing a 2020 census letter mailed to a U.S. resident in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

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KINGSTON, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Ulster County Commission on Reapportionment (COR) is asking for public assistance with the county redistricting plan. Residents can now use the a mapping tool to submit completed maps to the commission.

COR is working to redraw the 23 County Legislative Districts based on the 2020 U.S. Census data. According to COR Chairman Regis Obijiski, population shifts and changes in how state prison populations were counted in the 2020 Census may cause dramatic changes to some districts,

“The Commission wants to be transparent about this process and our commitment to drawing these districts without any consideration to political parties, incumbents or candidates,” said Obijiski. “Simply trying your hand at the mapping tool is eye opening to the challenges of the task before us.”

Residents can submit a map for consideration which includes all 23 districts. Each district must meet equal population parameters, be compact and contiguous, consider major geographic features and may not be gerrymandered.

“Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the seven commissioners of the COR to decide by majority vote on a final redistricting plan. Any plans submitted by the public as guidance are appreciated but may not ultimately impact the creation of the new voting districts,” said Sarah DeStefano, COR First Vice Chair.

COR has a deadline to complete the map and hold one or more public hearings on or before May 20, 2022. The official reapportionment plan must be completed on or before July 20, 2022. These new legislative districts will be used in the November 2023 elections to select County Legislators for the 2024-2025 term.

Map submissions should be sent to the COR before February 28. The guidelines for map submissions can be found on the Ulster County Legislature website.

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