COMING WINTER 2023

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NEWS & EVENTS FALL 2022

NEW CONGRESSIONAL & STATE VOTING DISTRICTS: FINAL

Town-by-Town

Bedford:

Currently in congressional district 18, will be in (new) CD 17.

Currently in state senate district 37, will be in (new) SD 40.

Currently in assembly district 93, will remain in AD 93.

Lewisboro:

Currently in congressional district 18, will be in (new) CD 17.

Currently in state senate district 40, will be in (new) SD 40.

Currently in assembly district 93, will remain in AD 93.

Mount Kisco:

Currently in congressional district 17, will be in (new) CD 17.

Currently in state senate district 40, will be in (new) SD 40.

Currently in assembly district 93, will remain in AD 93.

North Salem:

Currently in congressional district 18, will be in (new) CD 17.

Currently in state senate district 40, will be in (new) SD 40.

Currently in assembly district 93, will remain in AD 93.

Pound Ridge: Currently congressional district 18, will be in (new) CD 17.

Currently in state senate district 40, will be in (new) SD 37.

Currently in assembly district 93, will remain in AD 93.

SUMMER 2022

AUG 4 UPDATE: LOOPHOLE CLOSED!

A Supreme Court judge has ruled that voters wishing to change their party affiliation must submit that change to the County Board of Elections office by August 11 in order to vote in the races of that new party for the Aug 23rd election (and early voting days).

 

PRIMARY VOTING LOOPHOLE

New York State has Closed Primaries, meaning you have to be registered as a member of a political party to vote in that party's primary election. However, the state Board of Elections has just released Guidance concerning a loophole in the state election law which allows voters to vote in the August 23rd primary even if they are not currently enrolled in that party. If a voter is not enrolled in any party or is enrolled in a different party, they can go into the poll site and request to vote by affidavit ballot in the race of the party of their choice (because they will not show up in the pollbook of the new party). This affidavit ballot will count and will actually change their party enrollment for future elections.

SO: a registered Republican may -- for THIS PRIMARY ELECTION ONLY -- vote in the Democratic Primary via affidavit ballot. A voter doing so would be changing their party designation from Republican to Democrat. Likewise, a registered Democrat may vote in the Republican Primary via affidavit ballot and, in doing so, would be changing their party designation to Republican.

 

Update: June 2022

The court-appointed special master released the maps and there are now two summer primary elections in New York State: June 28 and August 23. The August primary will be for US Congressional seats & State Senate seats.

Update: Late May, 2022

Due to the delays as a result of the court actions and appeals, New York State voters currently face the prospect of voting on TWO separate primary days this summer: the original June primary date, June 28, and a second date for congressional and state senate primaries, August 23. The League of Women Voters is advocating for consolidating everything into one August 23 primary date, citing concerns about voter turnout, voter confusion, and the substantial costs associated with running two primaries versus one.

 

 

Redistricting Update: April 27, 2022

New York’s highest court ruled on Wednesday that Democratic leaders had violated the State Constitution when drawing new congressional and State Senate districts, ordering a court-appointed special master to draw replacement lines for this year’s critical midterm elections.

The League has been clear all the way through this saga that the way the Independent Redistricting Committee and then the NY State Legislature handled this process has been a slap in the face to New Yorkers, who voted in 2014 for an independent, bi-partisan redistricting process.

Today's decision validates the League's position and, most importantly, validates the will of the voters. However, it throws the election calendar into question and adds another layer of uncertainty to an already confusing story. The League can't help but point out that all of this turmoil was avoidable had the bi-partisan Independent Redistricting Commission done its job in the first place.

 

 

 

A timeline on New York’s chaotic redistricting process - City & State New York (cityandstateny.com)

 

The League was a strong supporter of the Constitutional amendment on redistricting that was approved by voters in 2014. That amendment established an Independent Redistricting Commission (“IRC”) and adopted a ban on partisan gerrymandering. The IRC initially submitted a set of maps that were rejected by the Legislature. The Constitutional amendment required the IRC to send a subsequent set of maps to the Legislature for a second up or down vote after the initial rejection, but the IRC failed to do so. The Legislature then adopted its own redistricting maps.

 

Republican voters sued to enjoin the Congressional and State Senate maps as unconstitutional under the 2014 Amendment. The lower court held a trial in March and found the Congressional map violated the new Constitutional provision against gerrymandering, and in addition voided that map as well as the State Senate and State Assembly maps because the redistricting procedure set forth in the Constitution was not followed. 

 

The defendants appealed to the Appellate Division, Fourth Department. The League filed an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) brief with the Appellate Division that called for the Court to invalidate the Legislature’s electoral maps, as the constitutionally mandated process for redistricting was violated by both the IRC and the Legislature. The League argued in its brief that, as a result of the violation of the required process, the Constitutional amendment now requires that the New York courts, not the Legislature, draw the electoral maps.

 

The Appellate Division, by a plurality decision on April 21, 2021, rejected the State Supreme Court’s determination that the redistricting process had violated the Constitution, but held that the Congressional map violated the anti-gerrymandering provisions of the Constitution, and ruled that the Legislature would be given until April 30 to enact a constitutional replacement for the Congressional map. The Appellate Division upheld the State Senate and State Assembly maps. One Justice dissented from the plurality opinion’s conclusion regarding the process, stating that the Justice “largely adopt[s] the well-reasoned analysis of the procedural issue offered in the amicus curiae brief filed by The League of Women Voters of New York State.”

 

The Appellate Division’s decision is being appealed to the Court of Appeals, New York’s highest court. The League filed a supplemental amicus curiae brief with the Court of Appeals contesting certain conclusions in the Appellate Division decision, and arguing that the Constitution clearly provides for the Judiciary, not the Legislature, to remedy the violations of the process mandated by the 2014 Constitutional Amendment. The League further argued that the 2014 Amendment’s process was carefully designed to further substantive goals and values – accountability, deliberation, and some independence from the worst of the partisan political process – that should be respected by the Court. Our brief concluded:

 

“To be sure, [the amendment’s] carefully-specified process does not guarantee that the scourge of gerrymandering will be eliminated, but the Judiciary should give that framework a chance to work. The Court would thereby honor the promise of the amendment – an independent redistricting process that conduces to competitive elections rather than protection of incumbents or particular political parties.”

 

The Court of Appeals has set 11 a.m. on Tuesday, April 26 for oral argument. The oral argument will be livestreamed through a video-link at https://www.nycourts.gov/ctapps/live.html . In view of the extraordinary importance of this appeal and, in particular, the procedural process mandated by the 2014 Amendment to reduce partisan gerrymandering, the League’s counsel has requested that the Court permit it the opportunity to provide oral argument on Tuesday. We encourage all interested members to watch the livestream of the oral argument for this historic case on Tuesday.

 

You can read a copy of the League’s initial amicus brief at: https://lwvny.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Exhibit-A-Amicus-Brief.pdf and a copy of the League’s supplemental amicus brief at https://lwvny.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/LWV-CoA-Amicus-Letter-Brief-Final-042422.pdf

UPDATE: MARCH 31, 2022!

A New York State Supreme Court justice has invalidated the maps that congressional, state senate, and state assembly maps that were drawn and passed by the state legislature, after the bipartisan Independent Redistricting Commission failed to come up with a set of maps. This throws into question what the districts will look like and affects both the June primaries and the general election in November.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/.../42a1246c-b137-11ec...

https://www.nytimes.com/.../judge-new-york-redistricting...

https://spectrumlocalnews.com/.../judge-rejects...

 

LWVNYS statement: 

In 2014, with the support of the League of Women Voters of New York State, voters approved the establishment of an Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC) to draw new district lines free from partisan bias. A New York State Supreme Court judge's decision today invalidated the new Congressional, State Senate and State Assembly lines adopted by the Legislature on its own initiative. The Court found that the Legislature had failed to follow the Constitutional process approved by voters, and that the Congressional lines also violated the new anti-gerrymandering provisions of the Constitution. The Court ordered the Legislature to submit new maps, with bipartisan support, by April 11, 2022, or the Court will retain a neutral expert to prepare new maps.

The Court’s decision, if upheld on appeal, unsettles the 2022 election process. That unfortunate outcome is solely the responsibility of the state Legislature for ignoring the 2014 Constitutional amendment and the will of the voters. The League calls on the Legislature to promptly adopt redistricting lines with bipartisan support that comply with the Constitutional standards.

STATE REDISTRICTING

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The new congressional, state senate, and state assembly district maps take effect for the 2022 election; until that time, nothing changes with regard to representation. Candidates will campaign and run for office based on the new districts.

 

 

HOW IT UNFOLDED:

The New York State Independent Redistricting Commission was charged with drawing new district voting maps for state senate, state assembly, and congressional districts. However, the IRC was unwilling and/or unable to agree on a set of maps; the bipartisan commission broke down along partisan lines and redistricting fell to the state legislature. Read on.

 

February 3, 2022: The senate & assembly approved the congressional maps yesterday, voting largely along party lines. State senate & assembly maps were released on Feb 2 and approved today. Gov. Hochul signed them all into law.

 

February 1, 2022: The League of Women Voters of New York comments on the state legislators' maps.

 

 

 

 

January 31, 2022: The state legislature has gone ahead and quickly released its proposal for new congressional districts, without allowing for public comment or input.. Legislators will be voting on the new map no later than Feb 2.

If you wish to contact your state representatives about this:

 

 

 

January 25, 2022: The IRC is done. The group did not come up with a new plan and did not submit a second set of maps. The state legislature will now draw the new districts. The statement by the League of Women Voters of New York State kind of says it all:

"The people of New York should be outraged by the recent inaction of the Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC). By not working together and instead maintaining partisan allegiances, the Commissioners disregard the thousands of hours spent by citizens to provide input on proposed redistricting lines that reflect their communities. The Commissioners chose to ignore their constitutional obligation to propose maps that are in the best interests of the State and its voters. The League of Women Voters believes that the IRC exemplified the worst of state government as it torpedoed the redistricting reforms approved by voters in 2014."

 

 

 

 

 

Mid-January 2022: The New York State legislature rejected the two sets of partisan maps submitted by the Independent Redistricting Commission. The IRC has one more chance to draw maps. If the state legislature rejects those, the maps then get drawn by the legislature. This would defeat the purpose behind the creation of the IRC, which was to have a bipartisan group draw the voting districts rather than the majority party of the state legislature.

Additionally, there is a version of proposed congressional maps that groups parts of Westchester county with Queens and the Bronx, which doesn't seem to make much sense from a practical representational standpoint.

The League of Women Voters of Westchester has put out a statement which includes action items. Click to read.

 

January 3, 2022: Another IRC hearing. Indeed, the two sets of partisan maps are being submitted to the state legislature! If the legislature rejects the maps, the IRC can try again. If the IRC's solution is rejected a second time, the legislature can take a crack at the maps.

COUNTY & LOCAL REDISTRICTING

April 27, 2022

The League of Women Voters of Westchester has submitted testimony to be read at the County Board of Legislators' Public Hearing on County & Local Redistricting. 

January 20, 2022

The League of Women Voters of New York State hosted a virtual seminar on County & Local Redistricting. It runs about one hour and fifteen minutes; click below and fast forward to the 2:02 mark to begin.

November 8, 2021: The Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC) held a public hearing. LWVNEW submitted written testimony addressing the shortcomings of the current state senate district maps and the bipartisan commission's failure to come to an agreement on a set of proposed redistricting maps. (The IRC instead issued TWO sets of partisan maps.)