In New York, the state legislature currently draws both congressional and state legislative districts, subject largely to federal constitutional and statutory limitations.
Article III of the New York Constitution governs redistricting, with relatively few constraints. District lines for the state Assembly and state Senate must be enacted by the same law. In the 2001 cycle, as in cycles before, control was divided, with a Senate controlled by Republicans, and an Assembly controlled by Democrats.
Read a March 2010 briefing memo on New York’s redistricting process and reform proposals being considered.
On April 28, 2010 the Brennan Center wrote a letter to Mayor Koch regarding New York Uprising’s proposal to promote non-partisan, independent redistricting in New York.
On December 14, 2010 Erika Wood gave testimony before the New York State Senate Majority Conference Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment. Her testimony was about how to improve the redistricting process in New York.
Read more about New York’s current redistricting process.
Some counties in New York count inmates as residents of the county in which they are incarcerated. The Brennan Center supports Senate Bill 6725 that outlines a proposal to count inmates in their home communities. To read more about prison-based gerrymandering in New York and Senate Bill 6725, click here.
When politicians chose their voters, district lines are at times purposefully drawn to eliminate challengers. Here are a few examples:
New York State Senate District 34
Lorraine Coyle Koppell, 5011 Waldo Ave., Bronx, NY, challenged State Sen. Guy Velella in the 2000 general election and lost, with 46% of the vote.
In 2001, her residence was drawn out of State Senate district 34, by one block.
New York State Assembly District 57
Hakeem Jeffries, 230 Park Place, Brooklyn, NY, challenged State Assemblyman Roger Green in the 2000 primary election and lost, with 41% of the vote.
In 2001, his residence was drawn out of State Assembly district 57, by one block.
View testimony by Justin Levitt and Kahlil Williams to the Assembly Standing Committee on Governmental Operations and the Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment (October 2006)