For Immediate Release Common Cause Analyzes LATFOR Maps

Written by 212-691-6421 on January 27, 2012


For Immediate Release:

Contact: Susan Lerner

January 27, 2012

212-691-6421

Common Cause Analyzes LATFOR Maps

Numerical analysis of three criteria: minority districts, population deviation, and county divisions

A day after LATFOR released the official electoral maps for New York State, Common Cause NY offered up a numerical analysis of how the lines stack up against its alternative reform map. Measured against three criteria, LATFOR's maps egregiously disadvantage minority communities, abuse the federally mandated principle of 'one person one vote', and violate the constitutional provision to avoid crossing county lines whenever possible.

"After further analysis, LATFOR's maps are even more atrocious than we previously realized. Both majorities went out of their way to protect their political interests to the detriment of the public interest. The maps completely undermine the essence of our democracy and must be revised to reflect the demographic reality of New York State," said Susan Lerner, Executive Director of Common Cause NY.

Minority Communities: LATFOR vs. Common Cause Reform Plan

State Senate

Non-Hispanic Black:LATFOR: 7 majority, 6 influence

Common Cause Reform: 7 majority, 8 influence

Hispanic: LATFOR: 6 majority, 8 influence

Common Cause Reform: 6 majority, 1 near-majority (47.4%), 10 influence

Non-Hispanic Asian:LATFOR: 1 majority, 3 influence

Common Cause Reform: 1 majority, 5 influence

State Assembly

Non-Hispanic Black: LATFOR: 15 majority, 17 influence

Common Cause Reform: 17 majority, 17 influence

Hispanic: LATFOR: 14 majority, 21 influence

Common Cause Reform: 16 majority, 18 influence

Non-Hispanic Asian: LATFOR: 3 majority, 8 influence

Common Cause Reform: 3 majority, 10 influence

Population Deviation: LATFOR vs. Common Cause Reform Maps

State Senate

In LATFOR's maps, the population deviations range from -4.97% to + 3.83%, with an absolute mean deviation of 3.67%. The biggest difference in district size is 27,035 people.

. There are 26 upstate districts, with a mean deviation of -4.5%

. There are 28 NYC/Westchester districts, with a mean deviation of + 3.3%

In the Common Cause Reform Plan, the population deviation ranges from -2.9% to +2.59%, with a mean deviation of 1.4%. The biggest difference in district size is 16,864 people.

. 25 upstate districts, with a mean deviation of -0.49%

. 29 NYC/Westchester districts, with a mean deviation of -0.43%

State Assembly

In LATFOR's maps, the population deviations range from -3.88% to + 4.06%, which is a mean deviation of 2.56%. The biggest difference in district size is 10,259 people.

. 63 districts upstate, with a mean deviation of +2.44%

. 65 NYC districts, with a mean deviation of -2.32%

In the Common Cause Reform Plan, the population deviations range from -1.79% to +2.96%, with a mean deviation of 1.06%. The biggest difference in district size is 6,121 people.

. 64 Upstate, with a mean deviation of +0.65%

. 64 NYC, with a mean deviation of -0.61%

County Crossings

The LATFOR plan for the Senate crosses 16 small upstate counties:. Putnam

. Rockland

. Dutchess

. Delaware

. Albany

. Saratoga

. Washington

. Chenango

. Herkimer

. Oneida

. Ontario

. Livingston

. St. Lawrence

. Cayuga

. Ulster

. Tompkins

In so doing, LATFOR divides three small upstate counties (St. Lawrence, Cayuga, and Tompkins) between three senate districts, and divides Ulster County between four senate districts

In contrast, the Common Cause Reform Plan crosses only nine small upstate counties:. Putnam

. Ulster

. Dutchess

. Rensselaer

. Saratoga

. Broome

. Oswego

. Niagara

. Herkimer

The reform maps do not divide any small counties into more than two districts.

Background

In December, Common Cause released a set of proposed Congressional and State maps drawn according to good government principles, available for New Yorkers to view and adjust on the UMapNY application on Newsday's website, Newsday.com.

The maps can also be viewed here: www.citizenredistrictny.org/reform-maps

The Common Cause reform maps are drawn according to the following criteria:

. Respect one-person, one-vote by drawing state legislative districts with a population deviation of no more than +/- 3% from the ideal value, with a mean deviation for the whole plan within 1%.

. Compliance with the federal Voting Rights Act.

. Respect communities of interest by drawing districts that reflect the social, cultural, racial, ethnic, and economic interests common to the population of the area. A community of interest is a local population with common social and economic interests that would benefit from the unified political representation provided by inclusion within a single political district.

. Traditional redistricting factors, like contiguity, compactness and respect for county, city, town, village, and school district lines whenever possible.

. Following an "incumbent blind" process and one that does not seek to advantage any particular political party in drawing the lines

. Re-allocating incarcerated persons back to their districts of last residence

Office: Common Cause New York

Common Cause is a nonpartisan grassroots organization dedicated to upholding the core values of American democracy. We work to create open, honest, and accountable government that serves the public interest; promote equal rights, opportunity, and representation for all; and empower all people to make their voices heard in the political process.

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