Broome County, New York advance redistricting proposals

Published: Jan. 3, 2022 at 5:53 PM EST
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(WBNG) -- Southern Tier residents are now one step closer to learning how they will be represented in office for the next 10 years.

New York’s Independent Redistricting Committee voted along party lines Monday to send two different sets of legislative maps to the state legislature; the committee sent two sets of maps because the votes were split 5-5 and no agreement could be reached between the two sides.

After the census is released each decade, state and local governments are required to redraw their legislative lines to account for shifting populations.

While drafts of the maps were released back in September, the two sets of congressional, State Senate and State Assembly maps released Monday morning constitute the first official set of proposals.

The dueling maps, one proposed by Democrats and the other by Republicans, are much closer to each other than the original drafts; the biggest difference for our area is the City of Binghamton is grouped with much of the Southern Tier in one congressional version, and part of a district spanning the suburbs of Syracuse, Utica and Albany.

The committee’s process has been marred by partisan fighting, which continued into the meeting Monday, when Democrats and Republicans alike accused the other side of being unfaithful negotiators.

“You would no longer negotiate the maps we had spent hundreds of hours and weeks preparing, no explanation, no discussion as to where things broke down,” said the group’s vice-chair, Jack Martins, about the Democrats on the committee.

The state legislature now has an opportunity to vote on whether to accept either set of maps; if it chooses not to endorse either, they will be sent back to the redistricting committee to be revised further.

If the committee submits revised maps and lawmakers vote them down a second time, the state legislature will draw its own maps.

It’s not just the state creating new legislative maps, however.

The Broome County Legislature’s Administration Committee is holding a special meeting Jan. 4, to vote on whether to adopt its own redistricting map.

Five different versions were originally submitted by lawmakers, but they have since been boiled down to the map included in this article.

To watch the local meeting as it takes place at 4 p.m., follow this link.