Op-ed | New York’s redistricting plan a step backward for democracy

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Late on Sunday, the much-anticipated district lines of New York State’s once-a-decade redistricting process were made public by the Democrats who now control the state legislature in Albany. Every 10 years, following the release of the U.S. Census, all 50 states are required to revise the boundaries of all congressional and state legislative seats to accommodate the growth or loss of population within the individual state. As recently as the early 1960’s the Empire State was represented by 43 seats in the U.S. Congress. Today, that number is 27 and will shrink to 26 once the current redistricting is completed. This reduction in seats has been the direct result of the exodus of residents from the high taxes and more recently by COVID, high crime and the civil unrest that have been inflicted upon them.

The mapping of the new lines had, until recently, been in the hands of a bipartisan commission created to oversee the redistricting process. In early January, the Democrats on the commission refused to sign-off on the re-drawn district maps in the allotted timeframe, intentionally forcing the process to be handed over to the Democrat-controlled Assembly and State Senate; a move akin to placing the fox in the hen house and a crystal-clear example of how one-party rule endangers the very principles of our democracy by taking what should be a public process and conducting it in secret behind closed doors.

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