ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — A state Supreme Court judge has rejected newly drafted redistricting lines drawn by the Independent Redistricting Commission and asked that they submit new ones by April 2023. The new maps would be used for the 2024 election.
This redistricting process goes back to 2014, when a constitutional amendment was enacted to create a bipartisan redistricting committee, which is made up of both Republicans and Democrats. Steven Romalewski, Director of CUNY Mapping Services said part of the issue is that they didn’t follow through on their responsibilities. “The key part of that said that the independent redistricting commission shall submit an updated set of plans if the legislature didn’t like the first set. And then the legislature would have to act on the second set of plans and the IRC never did that,” he said.
The Supreme Court filing reads: “It is indisputable that the decennial process of redistricting is fraught with partisan political infighting, requiring the balancing of competing forces in the established Democratic and Republican Parties as well as factions within both.”
Watchdog groups have suggested the IRC could be problematic and lead to gerrymandering. Back in April, a non-partisan special master had to be appointed to draw new Congressional and Senate lines after the Supreme Court ruled that the submitted maps were gerrymandered.
Common Cause NY is suggesting a special master be appointed for this task as well. In a statement they said: Skip to appointment of special master who is familiar with New York immediately and stop wasting New Yorkers time and money with a useless bipartisan commission that defaults to the Legislature.
If the committee does not come up with a new set of lines it would then go to the legislature.