New House maps in New York stall as deadline for June primaries nears

New York is quickly approaching the point where the lack of new lines in the congressional district could begin to interfere with the ability for primaries to be held as planned in June.

There are no signs yet that the redistricting will be completed soon.

John Mannion is a Democratic State Senator and congressional Candidate in an important race in the Syracuse region. “But, we’re in a tight time frame here, so those decisions won’t have to be taken too far into the future.”

The state Court of Appeals ordered the Independent Redistricting Commission of the state to submit new draft congressional maps by February 28 after a Democratic victory in a lawsuit over redistricting.


By February 27, candidates must start collecting petitions for the districts that have yet to be drawn.

Local boards of election have stated that the redistricting should be completed well before the court deadline, ideally around February 1.

Since the Legislature must vote on the lines drawn by the commission, and may even draw their own, ensuring that the Feb. 1 deadline is met means the drafts of the commission will be ready a few weeks before then.

It seems impossible. Since a planning meeting was held just a few weeks after Christmas, the commissioners did not schedule a public event in January’s final days. In 2022, a new set of lines was ordered by the court, and the primary elections were moved from June to August.

To the dismay of redistricting reformers, whatever is going on with the lines is not being done publicly.

Susan Lerner, executive director of Common Cause New York, said: “Conducting your business behind closed door is unacceptable.” “Open up your doors to people. “The people of congressional districts should have a say on who represents them.”

If the process doesn’t move forward quickly, legislators may need to make changes to the rules for petitioning or the election calendar.

“We haven’t had any discussions about that but I suspect we will have them in short time,” said State Senate Elections Chairman Zellnor Myrie, (D-Brooklyn).

It’s unlikely that we will see more public hearings on these lines.

Lerner stated that the hearings took place two years ago. “Things are definitely different, and relying solely on comments made about the old maps does not give you much insight into what is needed for the current situation.”

The court’s decision of December included a footnote that said the commission was not required to “conduct a solicitation of public comments beyond what it had done previously.”

The commissioners do not plan to go further than this.

In a brief statement released shortly after the ruling, Democratic members — who solicited written comments in the months leading up to the decision — noted that they had already heard from 630 people and collected 2,100 written submissions since the process began in 2021.