Gerrymandering Could Push Back New York Primaries Suspected Gerrymandering Could Push Back New York Primaries

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The status of New York’s primary elections is now in question after a judge ruled the state’s proposed voting district map was illegally gerrymandered to favor democrats last week.

The process of redistricting occurs every 10 years when new Census data showing the latest population trends is made available.

When these redistricting efforts ignore Census data and are created to heavily favor a particular political party, then that’s where the line is crossed when it comes to gerrymandering.

Grant Reeher, a political science professor at Syracuse University, says this New York judge made that determination when looking at the state’s proposed maps.

“When it becomes too extreme, when the reason for redistricting can’t be understood except only in terms of pure partisanship, then the districts are open to being challenged on the grounds of being gerrymandered,” Reeher said. “That’s what this judge determined.”

Timeline of New York's redistricting efforts
Timeline of New York’s redistricting efforts
© 2022 Bryan Hudnell

On Monday, an appeals court put that judge’s decision on hold and will be revisited Thursday.

If the judge’s original ruling is enacted, then new maps will have to be redrawn by April 11.

If new maps aren’t drawn in time, then the June 28 New York primaries could be pushed back as late as August.

“The problem that’s created with the timing with not having finalized maps is that the potential candidates, people who currently hold office, they don’t know where they’re running. They don’t even know if they live in their districts anymore in some cases,” Reeher said.

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