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State Legislature rejects maps proposed by redistricting commission

The Senate and Assembly quickly and overwhelmingly voted

The Senate and Assembly quickly and overwhelmingly voted down maps drawn by the New York State Independent Redistricting Commission. Credit: AP/Hans Pennink

ALBANY — The State Legislature on Monday, taking a widely expected step, rejected a set of new maps for New York legislative and congressional districts submitted by a commission.

The Senate and Assembly quickly and overwhelmingly voted down maps drawn by the New York State Independent Redistricting Commission.

There was very little support for the commission in either house in part because the panel couldn’t agree on one set of maps but rather submitted one version supported by its five Republican members and another by the five Democratic members. For example, the Assembly, with very little discussion, rejected maps by tallies of 142-4 and 140-6.

The vote is the latest step in a process that will result in the legislature to take over the mapmaking process in New York, as is the case in most states.

Technically, the redistricting commission has one more opportunity to meet and unite behind one set of maps — but few lawmakers expect that to happen. If the commission fails to agree within 15 days, the legislature can take over the process.

The commission was created by lawmakers and approved in a statewide referendum in 2014. But good-government watchdogs had long said it would fail because it contained an equal number of politically appointed Republicans and Democrats rather than being a truly independent panel.

The legislature, practically speaking, has to have maps approved by February for candidates to qualify for the state primary in June.

The redrawing of congressional and state legislative maps is required every 10 years following the latest U.S. Census.

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