Voters Views Clash with Legislature on Re-districting

The NYS Legislature is proceeding with a method of drawing new legislative and Congressional districts that voters do not approve according to the results of polling by Quinnipiac University.

48 percent of voters favor re-districting by an independent commission with no connection to the Legislature; only 11 percent like the current method.

Redistricting occurs every ten years reflecting census data. New York is losing two of its 29 Congressional seats.

A slight majority of voters oppose redistricting to protect incumbents or minority representation — 53% say protecting incumbents should not be considered while a larger majority reject drawing districts for “racial and ethnic groups, such as blacks and Hispanics.”

Interestingly even blacks reject that concept which is embedded in law as a result of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Bronx, Kings and New York counties were included in the section of that bill requiring preclearance — the concept that the US Dept. of Justice must pre-approve district voting lines. The NYS Legislature thus must prove that its new lines do not have either the purpose of the effect of discriminating against a ‘language minority group’.

Not surprisingly the poll showed Andrew Cuomo’s approval rating remains high (above 60 percent) and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is not gaining popularity. Her 50 percent approval rating is well behind Cuomo’s and Senator Chuck Schumer.

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