ALBANY, N.Y. (WETM) — After weeks of listening to public comment from New Yorkers across the state, the state’s Independent Redistricting Commission is in its final phases of redrawing its Congressional lines, a process that happens once a decade following the U.S. Census count.
The commission released the potential new districts earlier this year, with one proposal breaking apart the cities of Schenectady, Albany, and Troy. The proposed maps can be found here. The commission will vote on the maps on Jan. 3, 2022.
“If they can come up with seven votes, then they would send that map to the legislature and then the legislature would have to approve that map by with a two-thirds majority vote,” New York Assemblymember Philip Palmesano said.
Palmesano voiced concerns that the vote may not be bipartisan. He said that if the commission can’t come to an agreement, the New York Legislature, which is controlled by the Democratic Party, would vote on the maps. “There’s a lot of concerns on how this process is going to work out,” he said. “I know the members of the commissioner are working diligently, they want to come up with one set of maps and one set of agreement.”
In October, Palmesano said, “The Independent Redistricting Commission will present to the legislature at the end of December, or at this rate, the beginning of January what should be their first map.”
The petition process for the 2022 election is also hanging in the balance as a result of the commission’s vote. According to Palmesano, there has been “speculation” that the primary date could be pushed back. That could only happen given the timeframe of the map’s approval and any potential lawsuits filed in the process.