Powered by Topple

New York Dems may gain big strategical advantage despite potential loss of House seat

Powered by Topple

Get the latest BPR news delivered free to your inbox daily. SIGN UP HERE


CHECK OUT WeThePeople.store for best SWAG!

Come the next election in November, the citizens of New York have the power to essentially make New York a permanent blue state.

Up for a vote on Nov. 2nd is the New York Redistricting Changes Amendment, a Democrat-crafted ballot that, if passed, would make it exceptionally easy for Democrats to draw district maps that make it virtually impossible for Republicans to win.



At the moment, New York’s redistricting system is designed to make it more difficult for a party with overwhelming majority control to approve a new map.

Redistricting maps are first drafted by a 10-member redistricting commission that must contain four members of the majority party, four members of the minority party and two members who are registered to neither party.

After the plans are drafted, they must pass through the New York State Legislature, which is currently dominated by Democrats.

The current system requires just a simple majority vote only when the legislature contains a roughly even number of Democrats and Republicans.

But in cases such as now, where Democrats hold the majority of seats, they must obtain a two-thirds majority vote to approve a redistricting map.

If approved by the public next November, the New York Redistricting Changes Amendment would nullify the second requirement, thus making it so the Democrat-dominated legislature can approve a new map with just a simple majority.

And according to David Wasserman of The Cook Political Report, a popular election newsletter, if this were to happen, it could mean lights out for Republicans.

View his extensive analysis below:

Is any of this fair, though? According to critics, it is. After all, Republicans are and have always been some of the biggest proponents of redistricting:

But for good reason: They have traditionally controlled the majority of state legislatures. And wouldn’t you know, they still do.

The system in New York specifically wasn’t always like this. Prior to 2014, state legislators used to draw the maps. That, however, caused problems of its own.

“During the last redistricting cycle, in which New York lost two congressional seats, Assembly Democrats and state Senate Republicans failed to come up with a compromise on drawing boundaries for congressional districts,” City & State magazine notes.

“The creation of a new congressional map was left to a panel of federal judges and redistricting experts, who drew the current map. The state Legislature did successfully pass plans for state legislative, though it faced a failed lawsuit pushed by state Sen. Martin Dilan accusing Republicans of unfairly carving out a new Senate district,” the outlet added.

To prevent similar problems from arising again, in 2014 the state changed its redistricting process.

“Whereas, in the past, state legislators were responsible for redistricting, the new process is meant to reduce political influence by relying on an advisory commission. No one who has been an elected official, lobbyist or political party chair within the past three years is allowed to serve on the commission,” according to City & State.

The latter fact could be Republicans’ saving grace, because for a radical redistricting map to be approved by the legislature, it must first be drafted and approved by the commission. And if the commission is, at the very least, less political than the legislature itself, there’s a chance it won’t even produce a radical map.

Of course, there are caveats.

“But experts emphasize that it’s still not considered a fully independent body. Most members are appointed by legislative leaders of both parties,” City & State noted.

Vivek Saxena

Comments

Latest Articles