ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)– The Empire Center is among the organizations that have submitted versions of state Senate and Congressional Redistricting maps to the Steuben County Supreme Court. The deadline to submit Senate maps was Wednesday.
“There will be hearings tomorrow before the special master tomorrow in Bath on the maps that have been submitted for the state’s congressional districts and the state Senate districts,” explained Cam Macdonald, Adjunct Fellow at the Empire Center for Public Policy.
Dr. Jonathan Cervas has been appointed to be the special master, which is the person in charge of redrawing the maps. The Court of Appeals deemed the ones created by the state legislature unconstitutional. The Empire Center is hoping its maps will be considered.
“Empire Center’s maps are done using the criteria laid out in the constitution without any regard to partisan implications,” said Macdonald. “So that means they have been done to be contiguous, compact keeping communities of interest together, and keeping counties and municipalities together as much as possible.”
The new maps are expected to be issued by May 20th. The Senate and Congressional primaries are now going to be held in August, while all other primaries are held next month. This will cause an additional cost to counties.
“My taxpayers, taxpayers upstate or downstate, or across the State of New York shouldn’t pay for a second election that was caused by the Majority in this house or the Majority in the Assembly. The State of New York should cover it. That’s why I put forth the Gerrymander Failure Assistance Act,” stated Senator Jim Tedisco.
Tedisco said in total, the new primary could possibly cost around $40 million. He’s hoping that his legislation will get passed before the legislature adjourns in June.