As the lawmaker-driven redistricting process comes under fire here in New York, a U.S. Supreme Court ruling reaffirmed the power of state lawmakers in Texas to draw their own lines, tossing out boundaries created by a lower court.
Assemblyman Jack McEneny is the Democratic co-chairman of the commission leading the redistricting effort.
McEneny said, “I think what we can understand from that ruling is that there should be greater respect given to the function of the Legislature and the governor signed approach.”
Redistricting is a politically charged process that good government groups say is designed to keep incumbents in power. Meanwhile, hotly anticipated maps for state lines are expected as early as Monday. The big question is where the proposed 63rd Senate seat will appear.
“It will be in the State of New York. It wil be not on the island, but you know, you have to be able to anticipate something next week,” said Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos.
A new Senate seat will likely go in a Republican heavy area as the GOP protects its thin majority in the chamber. But advocacy group Common Cause says it ought to go in New York City in order to maintain a population balance.
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The Allegany County Board of Elections’ decision to eliminate a voting district in the Town of Alfred and to hold voting in one location instead of two is drawing protests from the Alfred village mayor.
The Town of Alfred has historically had two election districts. Last November, one district was at the Fire Hall, which is situated closer to the large student populations of both Alfred University and Alfred State College, while the other remains at the town offices on Shaw Road. Alfred village officials say they were informed Jan. 11 of the decision to consolidate voting in the township.
The decision by the Board of Elections has no impact on elections for village offices. Village elections are the sole province of village governments and are held in regular village voting places.
Village and town board members met with county election commissioners last month to discuss the number and location of election districts in Alfred. According to Alfred Mayor Craig Clark, the village asked to know the amount of increase in Alfred town costs if two districts were maintained. Alfred officials say they asked about costs again in a follow up letter to commissioners.
Village officials complain their questions were never adequately addressed, and instead Alfred was told earlier this month that the decision had been made to consolidate.
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