NY voters urged to defeat redistricting referendum

(AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
(AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) – Government watchdog groups in New York state say voters should reject a redistricting referendum on November’s ballot, arguing that it will give lawmakers a “stranglehold” on the process of redrawing political districts.

The New York Public Interest Research Group and other good government groups on Monday criticized the ballot question, which will ask voters to authorize a new commission to handle redistricting beginning in 2022.

State political districts are redrawn every decade to account for population changes. NYPIRG, Common Cause and EffectiveNY say lawmakers have manipulated the process to protect incumbents.

Referendum supporters including Gov. Andrew Cuomo and top lawmakers say the commission will make redistricting fairer. But Blair Horner of NYPIRG notes that legislative leaders will appoint most commission members and commission proposals can be overruled by the Legislature.

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