New York’s District Maps Dumped/Primary Pushed Back
New York’s primaries for Congress are expected to be moved back to August from June as the state’s highest court has tossed out the new Congressional district maps for gerrymandering.
The Democrat-majority State Court of Appeals judges on April 27 sided with the Republican plaintiffs’ claims that the map approved by the legislature, when a bipartisan committee couldn’t come up with a single approved plan, purposely made it so Democrats stood a better chance of winning in the state’s 26 Congressional Districts.
The state’s Court of Appeals says the Legislature, led by the majority Democrats, did not have authority to redraw Congressional and Senate maps on its own.
Lawyers for Democrat Governor Kathy Hochul and other legislative leaders argued the boundaries were redrawn to reflect the 2020 census and reunited similar geographic and cultural communities that had been split by what they said was Republican gerrymandering in earlier rounds of redistricting.
Drawing new district maps again is being handed over by the high court to an expert, known as a special court master.
The April 27 ruling didn’t specify a deadline for the adoption of new maps. But the judges said they were sending the matter to a lower state court, which “shall adopt constitutional maps with all due haste.”
Chief Judge Janet DiFiore wrote in the decision that it will likely be necessary to move the Congressional and state Senate primary elections from June 28 to August, to give time for the maps to be redrawn and for candidates and elections officials to adapt their plans.
The state elections board said it didn’t anticipate that the primary date would change for other races, including Governor and Assembly.
Many candidates had already started stumping for votes in the redrawn districts. The court ruling is muddying the choice for voters who, for now, may not know what district they will ultimately fall in and what candidate is looking for their support.