UPDATES ON FEDERAL AND STATE REDISTRICTING
Breaking News — Saturday, May 21, 2022:
Late Friday night, the New York State Supreme Court, tasked with redrawing New York’s Congressional and State Senate district maps, released final maps for those districts.
The final Congressional map and final State Senate map, as well as the Court’s Order and Special Master’s Report, are available online for viewing. The Village of Scarsdale is kept whole in each map.
Breaking News — Tuesday, May 17, 2022:
The Special Master appointed by the New York Supreme Court to redraw New York’s Congressional and State Senate district lines submitted drafts of these maps on Monday, May 16, 2022, and will submit final versions on Friday, May 20, 2022. Scarsdale Village is kept intact in both the draft U.S. Congressional map and the draft NYS Senate map.
The public has until Wednesday, May 18, 2022, to submit comments regarding the Special Master’s maps by:
- emailing either Steuben County Acting Supreme Court Judge Patrick McAllister or Special Master Dr. Jonathan Cervas, or
- submitting comment via the NYS Courts Electronic Filing System (NYSCEF), or
- offering in-person testimony on Wednesday, May 18, 2022, at the NY Supreme Courthouse in Bath
After New York State’s newly-created Independent Redistricting Commission failed to propose one set of US Congressional, NYS Senate, and NYS Assembly maps for legislative approval, the NYS Legislature, within days, passed bills proposing its own maps, without any public hearing or opportunity for public comment or questions. Governor Hochul signed the bills into law on February 3, 2022. LWV NYS issued a statement expressing its disappointment with the process and, in particular, with the Legislature’s failure to allow for public input. The LWVS Board had approved a previous LWV NYS statement expressing similar sentiments prior to the new maps being formalized and therefore shares in the disappointment.
A subsequent lawsuit challenging the new maps resulted in a trial court decision by a NYS Supreme Court on March 31, 2022, invalidating the new maps, stating that the Legislature had failed to follow the NYS Constitutional process approved by voters and that the Congressional lines also violated the new anti-gerrymandering provisions of the NYS Constitution. The court ordered the Legislature to submit new maps with bipartisan support by April 11, 2022, stating that it would otherwise retain a neutral expert to prepare new maps. It did so on April 18, 2022, appointing Jonathan Cervas of the Institute for Politics and Strategy at Carnegie Mellon University to draw the new lines.
The trial court decision was appealed to the Appellate Division, Fourth Department, resulting in an opinion on April 21, 2022, that rejected the State Supreme Court’s determination that the redistricting process violated the Constitution, held that the U.S. Congressional map violated the Constitution’s anti-gerrymandering provisions, upheld the State Senate and Assembly maps, and gave the Legislature until April 30, 2022 to enact a new U.S. Congressional map.
The Appellate Division’s decision was appealed to the Court of Appeals, New York’s highest court. On April 27, 2022, the Court of Appeals invalidated both the U.S. Congressional and the New York State Senate redistricting maps as “procedurally unconstitutional” and ordered the New York Supreme Court, with the assistance of a neutral special master and input from relevant parties, to draw new constitutional maps “with all due haste.” The Court acknowledged this will likely result in a delay in certain primaries from June to August.
Below are links to interactive maps showing the district lines that had been enacted by the Legislature, are the subject of the above court decisions, and were to become effective for purposes of voting in the June 28, 2022 primaries and the November 8, 2022 general election. Scarsdale is intact in all three maps. However, Westchester County has been divided among four US Congressional districts, thereby diluting the County’s voice in Congress.
- NYS Congressional Map 2022
- US Congress member Jamal Bowman, if re-elected to Congressional District 16 in November, will represent all of Scarsdale; a small portion of the Greenacres neighborhood had been located in US Congressional District 17, currently represented by Mondaire Jones.
- Westchester County will be divided among four separate US Congressional Districts, thereby diluting the voice of the County in Congress.
- NYS Senate Map 2022
- District numbers for the NY State Senate have changed due to the addition of two new districts in New York City. The total number of districts remains at 63.
- Scarsdale will no longer be in District 35, which is currently represented by Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins. Scarsdale will be in new District 39 and will likely be represented by Senator Shelley Mayer if re-elected in November.
- NYS Assembly Map 2022
- NY State Assembly member Amy Paulin will continue to represent Scarsdale in District 88 if re-elected in November.
County redistricting is a separate process from federal and state redistricting. In Westchester County, redistricting is required only “if necessary.” The Westchester County Board of Legislators has announced its intention to draw new maps this year, but it does not yet have any definitive or detailed redistricting plan. Follow the link to view the current Westchester County district lines. Westchester County Legislator Benjamin Boykin currently represents Scarsdale in District 5.
On April 27, 2022, the Board of Legislators hosted a virtual public forum to gather community input concerning County redistricting. Kathy Meany, President of the Westchester County League, submitted a statement.
LWVW and LWVS CALL TO ACTION ON U.S. CONGRESSIONAL REDISTRICTING
Your Voices Need to Be Heard!
Breaking News: Redistricting is now in the hands of the NYS Legislature because the IRC was unable to agree on a single set of redistricting plans by the deadline. Plans must pass by a 2/3 vote in both houses and are subject to both the Governor’s approval and the State Constitution’s requirements regarding fairness.
On January 30, 2022, the New York State Legislature released maps for New York’s U.S. Congressional Districts. Scarsdale appears to be represented in a single district (Congressional District 16) that extends from parts of the Bronx into Putnam County. Proposed maps for the NYS Senate and Assembly are not yet published.
Follow this link to read the LWV NYS letter to the NYS Senate and Assembly leadership urging them to allow for public input in their redistricting process. The LWVS board joins the State League’s call to action and also urges voters to contact their Legislators to ask for an open and transparent redistricting process. For more information, visit the LWV NYS redistricting webpage.
The IRC has until Tuesday, January 25, 2022, to submit new maps
PLEASE ACT NOW!
The Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC) has proposed U.S. Congressional maps that dilute Westchester County’s representation. Write the Commission and your NYS legislators (you may copy, paste, sign, and email a message using the template below) to voice your concern about the proposed maps and advocate for fair maps.
Dear Members of the Independent Redistricting Commission and New York State Legislature:
I am a concerned citizen of Westchester County who feels strongly that the state’s next Congressional District map should not join portions of Westchester to the Bronx and Queens. I do not believe that a single Representative can adequately represent the diverse interests of three counties in a conglomeration of urban New York City and suburban Westchester as drawn in Plans A and B for District 14. I understand that the task of map drawing has been difficult for the Commission and continues to be, but I do not want the Commission to dilute any Westchester votes in this manner, and for the next ten years. This same request was expressed by most speakers who were asked about it at the White Plains public hearing.
[insert your name]
Messages to the IRC may be submitted electronically by those who register online or by sending hard copies to:
Independent Redistricting Commission
250 Broadway, 22nd Floor
New York, NY 10007
Use the following directory links to obtain contact information to submit comments to your legislators:
LWVW AND LWVS STATEMENTS RE U.S. CONGRESSIONAL REDISTRICTING
LWVW TUTORIAL ON REDISTRICTING
UPCOMING WEBINAR ON REDISTRICTING
Thursday, October 21, 2021
2 pm to 3 pm via Zoom
Co-Sponsored by LWVW and the Scarsdale Public Library
Facilitated by Alissa Baum, President of LWVS
This webinar is organized by the LWV of Westchester* and facilitated by LWVS in collaboration with the Scarsdale Public Library. Register by providing your name and email address on the Scarsdale Public Library program page for this event to receive the Zoom link.