Slay the Dragon Logo

SLAY THE DRAGON follows everyday people, outraged by what they see as an attack on the core democratic principle that every person’s vote should count equally. This election year, we’re joining together with grassroots partners to put an end to gerrymandering. Because this issue impacts each state differently, we’ve created a map to help you navigate how gerrymandering affects your state and community. SLAY THE DRAGON arrives on demand April 3.

 

GET CAUGHT UP

Click on your state in the map above to find out what’s going on and how you can help.

We are partnering with organizations in Michigan, Colorado, Wisconsin to support the creation of non-partisan redistricting commissions to protect votes across the country.

us map

Click on your state in the map above to find out what’s going on and how you can help.

We are partnering with organizations in Michigan, Colorado, Wisconsin to support the creation of non-partisan redistricting commissions to protect votes across the country.

Slay the Dragon Logo

SLAY THE DRAGON follows everyday people, outraged by what they see as an attack on the core democratic principle that every person’s vote should count equally. This election year, we’re joining together with grassroots partners to put an end to gerrymandering. Because this issue impacts each state differently, we’ve created a map to help you navigate how gerrymandering affects your state and community. SLAY THE DRAGON arrives on demand April 3.

 

GET CAUGHT UP

Click on your state in the map above to find out what’s going on and how you can help.

We are partnering with organizations in Michigan, Colorado, Wisconsin to support the creation of non-partisan redistricting commissions to protect votes across the country.

us map

Click on your state in the map above to find out what’s going on and how you can help.

We are partnering with organizations in Michigan, Colorado, Wisconsin to support the creation of non-partisan redistricting commissions to protect votes across the country.

New York

Process

Hybrid Commission System

Beginning in 2021, New York's state legislative and congressional districts will be drawn by a ten-member commission, as created by the New York Redistricting Commission Amendment in 2014. The four legislative leaders will each select two commissioners, and these eight members will then select the final two citizen-commissioners. The Commission will submit proposed plans to the state Legislature for an up-or-down vote. Only after the Commission rejects two proposed maps will the Legislature be permitted to make amendments to the Commission's proposals.

Criteria

In addition to the federal requirements of one person, one vote and the Voting Rights Act, New York’s state constitution (Art. III § 3, 4) requires that state legislative and congressional districts be compact, contiguous, preserve political subdivisions, preserve communities of interest, preserve the cores of prior districts, and be drawn to promote competitiveness. Intentionally favoring or disfavoring an incumbent, party, or candidate for office is prohibited.

In 2010, New York passed legislation ending the practice of prison gerrymandering and reassigning currently incarcerated populations to their last-known place of residence for the purpose of redistricting.

Public Input

Per the state constitution (Art. III § 3(6)), the Commission must hold at least twelve public hearings in specific cities and counties throughout the state. In addition, it must make all draft redistricting plans and data easily available so as to allow citizens to “develop alternative redistricting plans for presentation to the commission at the public hearings.”

Issues

Pitfalls

On July 15, 2020, Legislature held its first joint public hearing on redistricting to prepare for the upcoming cycle. Some of the primary issues raised in testimony include the gender and ethnic diversity of the Commission (the first eight appointees include one woman and no Latinx), transparency and accountability in the process, and the timing of redistricting given the Census delays. Following this hearing, a proposal to amend the redistricting process has gained traction and would likely decrease Republican participation in the process.

Congressional Seats

Based upon a recent estimate of congressional seat changes following the 2020 census, New York is estimated to lose one congressional seat.

Census Delays

  • Draft plans deadline: September 15, 2021 (Art. III § 4(b))
  • Commission plan submission to Legislature deadline: January 15, 2022 
  • Second commission plan in case of legislative rejection: February 28, 2022
  • Final deadline for Legislature in case of second rejection: no statutory deadline

The Census Bureau may delay sending population data to states until as late as July 31, 2021. If the hybrid commission can work quickly, the delay will not likely have any major effect, especially with the fallback deadlines.

History

New York’s redistricting process in the 2011 cycle was very contentious. Members of Congress hired lobbyists to protect their interests in redistricting, mayors challenged census population counts, and citizen activists clashed with legislators over redistricting reform. In the end, a court-appointed special master drew the final congressional districts. This cycle, the new process involving a politician commission will hopefully prevent these issues from reoccurring.

Actions

Defend the new system, which moves in the right direction from full legislative control to a politician commission, while supporting further reforms.

  • Write to your local news organization in support of the new commission.
  • Support state legislative candidates who will protect the new Commission while pushing for further reform. The entire New York Legislature will be up for re-election in 2020.
  • Advocate for a genuinely fair constitutional amendment that creates an independent redistricting commission. Read the Common Cause Activist Handbook on Redistricting Reform to learn about what reforms have been successful in the past, and what steps to take to enact reform in the future. 

Attend webinars and events from New York Counts 2020 to learn more about specific issues in redistricting.

In 2021, participate in the Legislature’s public input process.

  • Obtain New York redistricting data from OpenPrecincts.
  • Start to plan out what defines your community – whether it’s a shared economic interest, school districts, or other social or other cultural, historical, or economic interests – and how that can be represented on a map. This will come in handy once the hybrid commission starts collecting feedback. Use software tools such as Dave's Redistricting App and Districtr to draw district maps showing either (a) what a fair map would look like, or (b) where the community you believe should be better represented is located.

Contacts

Princeton Gerrymandering Project Data provided by the Princeton Gerrymandering Project

State Info

Congressional Boundaries: Drawn by hybrid commission system
State Boundaries: Drawn by hybrid commission system
Legislative Control: Democratic
Governor's Political Party: Democratic
Last Updated: Oct 13 2020