New York unveils new redistricting maps, some Democrats outraged: Report

 February 21, 2024

The state of New York unveiled its new congressional district maps this week, and they have already sparked backlash.

According to the New York Post, the new maps were revealed this week by a bipartisan districting panel but ultimately sparked anger as some believe the maps were designed to help incumbents hold onto power.

Some state Democrats were especially upset at the new maps.

"These maps are a disgrace and ought to be rejected by the Legislature," Orange County state Sen. James Skoufis (D) said as he called on the maps to be thrown out.

Having the maps approved could become an issue, as Democrats currently control both state legislature chambers, and two-thirds majority is needed when a party controls both chambers.

The bipartisan state lawmakers on the map redrawing committed admitted that the maps were based on current maps, but pushed back on the idea that they're designed to help keep state lawmakers in power.

"Good redistricting principles do require you to consider the cores of existing districts and that’s just true," said Republican Charles Nesbitt, a member of the committee.

Former New York gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin endorsed the new maps this week.

"The State Legislature should pass AS IS the bipartisan congressional maps approved by the IRC," Zeldin said.

He added, "It’s time to end the chaos and confusion Albany Democrats and DC Democrats have insisted on torturing New Yorkers with for illegal, self-serving political calculation and power grabbing. If the Democrats in the Legislature insist on playing even more hyper partisan political games, they are going to find themselves right back in court."

The Post noted that a few Democrats stand to gain from the newly-drawn maps, but so do several key Republicans.

While Democrats stand to potentially benefit from the changes to the 22nd District, that comes at the cost of giving Rep. Marc Molinaro (R-19) some more conservative-leaning ground in Central New York such as northern Otsego County, Rep. Pat Ryan (D-18) would also likely benefit by having some areas north of Kingston, like Woodstock included in his district.

The new maps will soon head to the state legislature for a vote, which could pose a challenge. However, should the maps pass, they will go to Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) for a signature.

Only time will tell if the maps are approved.