UTICA, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – Election day is two weeks away and State Senator Joseph Griffo is urging New Yorkers to vote no on the ‘Redistricting Ballot Proposal’.
“Please vote no particularly to proposition one,” said Senator Griffo.
Senator Griffo explains that if proposition one is passed it will make it easier for the Legislature and Albany to decide legislative districts and representation for voters across New York. However, it would change the way we redistrict, and make it a partisan process.
“So the main concern I have is that the voices of the minority will be neutered completely now they do have an opportunity to be involved under the current constitutional amendment that we’re under. Secondly, the vote of the legislator would be reduced from two-thirds to sixty percent,” said Griffo.
Under this proposal, a town could be divided in half and city blocks could be divided, and Griffo expresses that this will not be favorable to the voters. Groups such as the League of Women Voters (Utica/Rome Metro area) and the Greater Utica Chamber of Commerce are also not in favor of the proposal and feel it should be voted down.
“The fact that it gives the minority it weakens their voice we feel that it makes this not an independent process,” said Kari Puleo, Executive Director of the Greater Utica Chamber of Commerce.
“All New Yorkers must be equally represented regardless of party affiliation or non-affiliation and if a single party has the ability to control the approval of these districts there’s much greater risk for gerrymandering,” said Dianne Dimeo, Vice President of the League of Women Voters.
The Senator says that he does not want this to cause a further divide.
“When you look at a city like Utica you don’t want different blocks in different areas particularly towns you don’t want to split them in half because there’s a commonality here and even as a region as a region we need to be together we have common challenges common objectives,” said Senator Griffo.