WASHINGTON, D.C. – Many states across the U.S. are having to redraw the lines for their proposed state and congressional district maps. Recently, New York’s highest court tossed out the legislature’s plans, saying the proposed districts violated the state’s ban on partisan gerrymandering. So how will this impact the upcoming primary elections in New York? Political analysts explain.
In a 32-page ruling, judges say the state legislature violated the state’s constitution when they took it upon themselves to draw the new state senate and congressional districts.
“In 2014, the state passed an amendment that requires an independent commission to draw the new districts,” said Todd Belt the Political Management Director at George Washington University. “That commission did that but those maps were rejected by the state legislature and then they went and re-did their own so the court said this was a clear violation of the amendment of 2014 which is part of the state constitution and so therefore, the maps are unconstitutional.”
With the potential of the Dems losing the majority in the House of Representatives, political analysts said democrats saw this as an opportunity to try and pick up additional congressional seats.
“New York’s already losing one seat in the House of Representative because the reapportionment that happened,” said Belt. “So the democrats were trying to maximize their margin here. With the old maps, the way they were drawn, they probably would have gotten about 19 of the 26 seats but with the maps they drew, they got about 22.”
So how will this ruling impact the upcoming June 28th New York primary elections? There could be separate primaries. A state judge said a special master will finish drawing up new maps by May 20th. Until then, state and local election officials will get ready to hold separate primaries in June and August with an August 23rd date set for their congressional and state senate primary elections.