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New York legislators give thumbs down to IRC-drawn congressional maps

(excerpt from by Jack Arpey)

New York's Democratic-controlled state Legislature rejected new congressional maps drawn by the state's Independent Redistricting Commission.

The proposal slightly altered the maps drawn by a special master for the 2022 elections.

All indications throughout the Capitol on Monday were this was exactly how the vote was going to go. With petitioning for candidates scheduled to begin just a few hours after the vote, the concern that continues to linger throughout the building, the entire state and even in Washington D.C., is where it goes next.

Without official maps, congressional candidates don't know what the districts they'll be running in will look like. 

“I will be voting in the negative and look forward to working with my colleagues in the Assembly,” Deputy Senate Majority Leader Michael Gianaris said as lawmakers prepared to vote.

Gianaris had indicated earlier Monday that was his intention.

As he spearheaded a vote that turned out to be 40-17, he cited several reasons, including counties being divided, as well as his suspicion that certain lines were drawn to protect incumbents.

The bipartisan IRC has denied this.

“There were numerous problems with the map that was sent to us that run afoul to the guidelines in our state constitution,” he said.

Prior to the vote, which was later joined by a 99-47 rejection in the Assembly, Republicans expressed their support for the proposed maps.

“I rise to commend Chairman Jenkins and Vice Chair Nesbitt for the job they did,” said Long Island Senator Jack Martins.

Martins slammed Democrats for ignoring a 9-1 ruling by the commission, something he said should be celebrated.


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