Griffo urges New Yorkers to vote 'no' on redistricting proposal

Sen. Joseph Griffo, R-47, is urging New Yorkers to vote “no” on one of the proposals that will appear on the ballot this November that could change the redistricting process.

Posted: Oct 19, 2021 3:50 PM
Updated: Oct 19, 2021 4:58 PM

UTICA, N.Y. -- Sen. Joseph Griffo, R-47, is urging New Yorkers to vote “no” on one of the proposals that will appear on the ballot this November that could change the redistricting process.

In 2014, voters approved a referendum to allow redistricting to be conducted by an independent, bipartisan commission.  Griffo says this proposal could lead to gerrymandering, which would favor the party in control.

“New Yorkers previously supported a fair and independent redistricting process and having an independent commission free of political influence redraw legislative district lines,” Sen. Griffo said. “Now, the majorities have egregiously put forth modifications to the redistricting process that only serve to sustain their political superiority and will ultimately lead to perpetual power, which is not in the best interest of the state of New York.” 

A "yes" vote on the proposal would amend the state constitution to do the following:

  • Change the vote thresholds for adopting redistricting plans when one political party controls both legislative chambers;
  • Require that incarcerated persons be counted at the place of their last residence for redistricting;
  • Require the state to count residents, including people who are residents but not citizens, should the federal census fail to do so;
  • Remove the block-on-border requirement for Senate districts;
  • Cap the number of state senators at 63; and 
  • Move up the timeline for redistricting and repeal inoperative language. 

Dianne DiMeo, of the League of Women Voters of Utica/Rome, agrees with Griffo that the proposal would make redistricting a partisan process.

“The current redistricting amendment ensures fair representation of the majority and minority parties by including a special voting process if the Assembly and Senate are both controlled by a single party. This proposition removes those fail-safe procedures so that maps only need to be approved by just a simple majority of Commissioners and Legislators,” said DiMeo. “The League is strictly nonpartisan and believes that all New Yorkers must be equally represented regardless of their party affiliation or non-affiliation. If a single party has the ability to control the approval of new legislative district lines, there is a much greater risk of gerrymandering.”

The proposals for this year are located on the back of the paper ballots.

 

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