ELMIRA, 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 United States Census count.
The commission released the potential new districts earlier this year, with one proposal breaking the Southern Tier up into numerous districts instead of one. 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 bi-partisan. 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,” Palmesano said. “But 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.”
The petition process for the 2022 election is also hanging in the balance as a result of the commissions 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 maps approval and any potential lawsuits filed in the process.