Every ten years, New York redraws its federal, state, and local legislative district maps. This process is meant to ensure that as populations grow and change, every New York voter can have equal representation and equal voice in government.
New York Congressional and State House and Senate Districts
In New York, both congressional and state legislative redistricting is controlled by a politically appointed commission made up of 10 members, and the state legislature can approve or reject maps. If the State Legislature rejects the Commission’s maps, they can draw and approve their own maps. Additionally, a supermajority of the state legislature can choose to take redistricting power away from the Commission.
When partisan politicians control the mapmaking process, we’re especially vulnerable to gerrymandering — which is why it’s so important we push our lawmakers to be transparent and consider public testimony every step of the way.
Following the failure of the commission to propose maps, the New York legislature passed their own maps over the course of less than a week. As part of the ensuing litigation, Common Cause/NY proposed the congressional and senate map below.
On May 21st, 2022, final NY state congressional and state senate maps were released. Read CCNY Executive Director Susan Lerner’s statement on the final maps here, and review the final maps below.
Final Congressional Map
Final State Senate Map
Mapmakers must prioritize:
- Districts must comply with the provisions of the US Constitution and Voting Rights Act and keep districts reasonably equal in population.
- Keeping communities of interest and political subdivisions whole.
- Maximizing the number of politically competitive districts
Districts may not be drawn:
- To protect one or more incumbents, declared candidates, or political party
- With intent or effect of denial/abridgement of voting rights or vote dilution because of race or membership in language minority group
Why Redistricting Matters for New York
When done fairly, redistricting is a chance for political power to be equitably distributed across different communities, making sure everyone has a seat at the table.
Unfortunately, redistricting has historically been conducted behind closed doors with little to no public input, meaning they don’t have an accurate picture of what our communities look like.
Even worse, when politicians have the power to draw electoral maps, they manipulate district lines to divide or pack together certain populations, keeping themselves and their party in power. It’s called gerrymandering – and it’s a major threat to our democracy.
New York Redistricting Resources
Use these resources to learn more about how you can get involved in fighting for fair districts and stopping gerrymandering in New York.