This November, voters in New York will consider an amendment that proposes to once again alter the redistricting process of the state. The League of Women Voters is urging voters to reject it.
The measure is one of five amendments voters will be considering this year, along with measures enshrining a right to a clean environment and expanding measures meant to boost voter turnout like no-excuse absentee balloting and ending a 10-day voter registration requirement.
But the redistricting process, with power at stake in Washington, is a looming controversy for New York politics heading into 2022. The amendment would, in effect, potentially give more power to the Democratic supermajorities in the state Legislature if the commission created by the last constitutional reform fails to reach an agreement on how New York's congressional and state legislative districts should be drawn up.
And the current loggerheads at the commission does not bode well for the future: Democratic and Republican appointees on the commission have released separate versions of their proposed maps this month.
But the League of Women Voters believes the redistricting amendment being put before voters could make matters worse.
“New York State voters have a unique opportunity in 2021 to constitutionalize our right to clean air and water, and expand voting rights by eliminating the 10-day voter registration deadline and allowing for no-excuse absentee voting. Voters will also have the opportunity to reject Proposal 1, a rollback to recent redistricting reforms that would weaken the role of the minority party in the Commission and legislative approval of the plans,” said Laura Ladd Bierman, executive director of the League of Women Voters of New York State.
The general election this year is Nov. 2; early voting runs from Oct. 23 to Oct. 31.