Local Assembly district among the worst drawn in New York
By Jay Braman Jr.
The recently redrawn 101st Assembly District is being used as an example by the New York Public Interest research Group (NYPERG) of one of the worst districts in the state.
Dubbed “The left over lightening bolt,” NYPERG says it stretches from Utica to Newburgh, cutting through local communities in Delhi, Andes, and Hardenburgh, just to name a few.
It takes several hours to drive from one end to the other, NYPERG says, but driving side to side only takes minutes.
NYPERG claims that Assembly Democrats deliberately redrew the district’s lines in 2012 as a way to corral the most Republican voters into one district, thus giving Democrats in nearby areas a better shot at keeping their seats in the assembly.
NYPERG has released a report this month calling for voters to say no to constitutional amendments to the redistricting process that will appear on the ballot this November. “The amendment will do nothing to reform the problem of unequal representation, or to guarantee the principle of one person, one vote,” the report states.
NYPERG says New York needs real redistricting reform, not the loophole-riddled changes favoring politicians proposed in the constitutional amendment.
“A fair and impartial redistricting process should result in fair and impartial elections,” according to the report. “The cornerstone of protecting the integrity of representative government is ensuring equality of representation, strict additional standards, and a truly impartial commission to oversee the redistricting process.”
Goes until 2022
Though redistricting does not happen again until 2022, NYPERG urges voters to reject this year’s amendment because they believe there is time to work on getting the process done in a way that’s best for voters.
“New Yorkers should not have to settle for a plan that continues to allow politicians to rig elections through district lines drawn for unfair political advantage.,” the report concludes. “The proposal is too weak and impedes real reform. Send lawmakers back to the drawing board and get it right in time for the 2022 redistricting process.”