ALBANY – The legal case against New York State’s redistricting maps will be heard in court this week, however, State Senator George Borrello does not believe it will go far and the maps need to be redrawn.
“I feel confident that the gerrymandering was so egregious that the judges will find they clearly violated the New York State Constitution which called for independent redistricting,” explains Borrello. “And that will reset everything essentially.”
The state’s Legislature, which is controlled by Democrats, approved the new maps earlier this month. They were drawn in such a way that out of the 26 congressional districts, New York will be divided into for 2023, Democrats will be the majority of registered voters in 22 of them.
If the maps are denied during Thursday’s hearing, they will go back to the state legislature, which will be able to redraw the maps. Borrello hopes the Democrats will come back with a fairer presentation.
If denied again, a judge, along with experts, will redraw the map, similar to what happened just a decade ago.
“The people of New York spoke in 2014 and said that they wanted to take as much of the politics out as possible with the Constitutional Amendment that passed,” says Borrello. “And then they spoke again just this past November, when they rejected the propositions that were on the ballot to try to essentially give the Democrats the ability to legitimize and legalize gerrymandering and tampering with our elections.”
Borrello continues that the independent redistricting process was meant to be fair and bipartisan, but when Democrats took control, they set out to rig the process.
He also says that left-leaning groups such as the League of Women Voters and Common Cause agree that the potential new map should be considered as gerrymandering.
“It undermined people’s faith in the system, their confidence that their representatives, people that should be truly representing them that they want. It undermines people’s confidence in elections quite frankly. Right now, New Yorker’s and American’s in general lack confidence that our elections are fair,” says Borrello.
The Senator says under the new map, his district would now include eight towns from Erie County and the entirety of Wyoming County.
Borrello feels that his past engagement and accessibility as a Senator will allow him to continue serving the area come election season even if districts are redrawn.