Redistricting in New York

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Redistricting in New York
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General information
Current legislative control:
Congressional process:
State legislature[2]
State legislature process:
State legislature[2]
Total seats
Congress: 27
State Senate: 63
State House: 150
Redistricting in other states
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RedistrictingState-by-state redistricting proceduresState legislative and congressional redistricting after the 2010 Census
Redistricting is the process by which new congressional and state legislative district boundaries are drawn. Each of New York's 27 United States Representatives and 213 state legislators are elected from political divisions called districts. United States Senators are not elected by districts, but by the states at large. District lines are redrawn every 10 years following completion of the United States Census. The federal government stipulates that districts must have nearly equal populations and must not discriminate on the basis of race or ethnicity.

Redistricting is a fiercely-contested issue, primarily due to gerrymandering, the practice of drawing district lines to favor one political party, individual or constituency over another. Two areas of contention include the following:

Competitiveness: Political parties or incumbents sometimes draw district lines for their benefit at the expense of proportionality and fair representation. Some argue that this practice contributes to the present lack of competitive elections. Uncompetitive elections can in turn discourage participation.[3]
Race and ethnicity: District lines sometimes minimize the influence of minority voters by disproportionately consolidating them within single districts or splitting them across several districts. These practices are examples of "packing" and "cracking," respectively.[3][4][5][6]
In New York, congressional and state legislative district boundaries are drawn by the state legislature. An advisory commission is also involved in the process. Beginning 2020, district lines will be drawn by a bipartisan politician commission.


See also: Redistricting

Federal law stipulates that all districts, whether congressional or state legislative, must meet two primary criteria.

  1. Equal population: According to All About Redistricting, federal law "requires that each district have about the same population: each federal district within a state must have about the same number of people [and] each state district within a state must have about the same number of people." Specific standards for determining whether populations are sufficiently equal vary for congressional and state legislative districts. See below for further details.[7]
  2. Race and ethnicity: Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 states that district lines must not dilute the voting power of racial or ethnic minority groups. This provision "applies whether the denial is intentional, or an unintended end result. Courts essentially test whether the way that districts are drawn takes decisive political power away from a cohesive minority bloc otherwise at risk for discrimination."[7]

In most states, the legislatures are primarily responsible for both congressional and state legislative redistricting. However, reformers argue that partisan legislators are incapable of establishing fair district lines because they have a vested interest in the outcome. Instead, reformers advocate using different redistricting processes, including independent commissions or electronic methods. Opponents of these reforms argue that alternative processes are less accountable to voters, subject to partisan abuse, and perhaps unconstitutional.

State requirements


In addition to the federal criteria noted above, individual states may impose additional requirements on redistricting. Common state-level redistricting criteria are listed below. Typically, these requirements are quite flexible.

  1. Contiguity refers to the principle that all areas within a district should be "physically adjacent." A total of 49 states require that districts of at least one state legislative chamber be contiguous. A total of 23 states require that congressional districts meet contiguity requirements.[7][8]
  2. Compactness refers to the general principle that "the distance between all parts of a district" ought to be minimized. The United States Supreme Court has "construed compactness to indicate that residents have some sort of cultural cohesion in common." A total of 37 states "require their legislative districts to be reasonably compact." A total of 18 states impose similar requirements for congressional districts.[7][8]
  3. A community of interest is a "group of people in a geographical area, such as a specific region or neighborhood, who have common political, social or economic interests." A total of 24 states require that the maintenance of communities of interest be considered in the drawing of state legislative districts. A total of 13 states impose similar requirements for congressional districts.[7][8]
  4. A total of 42 states require that state legislative district lines be drawn to account for political boundaries (e.g., the limits of counties, cities and towns). A total of 19 states require that similar considerations be made in the drawing of congressional districts.[7][8]

Congressional redistricting

According to Article 1, Section 4, of the United States Constitution, the states and their legislatures have primary authority in determining the "times, places and manner" of congressional elections. Congress may also pass laws regulating congressional elections. Section 4 explicitly vests the authority to regulate congressional elections with the legislative branches of the states and the federal government and not with the executive or judicial branches.[9][10]

The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.[11]

—United States Constitution

Article 1, Section 2, of the United States Constitution stipulates that congressional representatives be apportioned to the states on the basis of population. There are 435 seats in the United States House of Representatives. Each state is allotted a portion of these seats based on the size of its population relative to the other states. Consequently, a state may gain seats in the House if its population grows, or lose seats if its population decreases, relative to populations in other states. In 1964, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Wesberry v. Sanders that the populations of House districts must be equal "as nearly as practicable."[12][13][7]

The equal population requirement for congressional districts is strict. According to All About Redistricting, "any district with more or fewer people than the average (also know as the 'ideal' population), must be specifically justified by a consistent state policy. And even consistent policies that cause a 1 percent spread from largest to smallest district will likely be unconstitutional."[7]

State legislative redistricting

The United States Constitution is silent on the issue of state legislative redistricting. In the mid-1960s, the United States Supreme Court issued a series of rulings in an effort to clarify standards for state legislative redistricting. In Reynolds v. Sims, the court ruled that "the Equal Protection Clause [of the United States Constitution] demands no less than substantially equal state legislative representation for all citizens, of all places as well as of all races." According to All About Redistricting, "it has become accepted that a [redistricting] plan will be constitutionally suspect if the largest and smallest districts [within a state or jurisdiction] are more than 10 percent apart."

State process

See also: State-by-state redistricting procedures

In 37 states, legislatures are primarily responsible for drawing congressional district lines. Seven states have only one congressional district each, so congressional redistricting is not necessary. Four states employ independent commissions to draw the district maps. In two states, politician commissions draw congressional district lines.

State legislative district lines are primarily the province of the state legislatures themselves in 37 states. In seven states, politician commissions draw state legislative district lines. In the remaining six states, independent commissions draw the lines.[14]

In New York, both congressional and state legislative district boundaries are drawn by the state legislature. These lines are subject to veto by the governor. A six-member advisory commission assists in the process. The commission may recommend congressional and state legislative redistricting plans to the legislature, which may in turn "adopt, modify or ignore the commission's. proposals." The commission comprises the following members:[15]

  1. The majority leader of the New York State Senate appoints one commissioner who is a legislator and one who is not, for a total of two commissioners.
  2. The majority leader of the New York State Assembly appoints one commissioner who is a legislator and one who is not, for a total of two commissioners.
  3. The minority leader of the New York State Senate appoints one commissioner who is a legislator.
  4. The minority leader of the New York State Assembly appoints one commissioner who is a legislator.

State law requires that state legislative districts be contiguous and compact. State legislative districts must also take into account the "historic and traditional significance of counties."[15]

Process beginning in 2020

See also: New York Redistricting Commission Amendment, Proposal 1 (2014)

On March 14, 2012, the state legislature approved a constitutional amendment to establish new redistricting procedures beginning in 2020. The New York Constitution requires that two successive legislatures approve an amendment in order to qualify it for final approval by popular vote. The legislature approved the amendment a second time in 2013. On November 4, 2014, voters approved the amendment.[15]

Beginning in 2020, congressional and state legislative redistricting will be the responsibility of a 10-member commission comprising the following members:[15]

  1. Two members must be appointed by the temporary president of the New York State Senate.
  2. Two members must be appointed by the speaker of the New York State Assembly.
  3. Two members must be appointed by the minority leader of the New York State Senate.
  4. Two members must be appointed by the minority leader of the New York State Assembly.
  5. Two members must appointed by the aforementioned eight commissioners. These two appointees cannot have been enrolled in the top two major political parties in the state.

The legislature must approve the commission's plans by a simple up/down vote. The legislature must reject two separate sets of redistricting plans before it will be able to amend the commission's proposals. All districts will be required "to preserve minority rights, be equally populated, and consist of compact and contiguous territory." Further, state law will require that districts "not be drawn to discourage competition or to favor/disfavor candidates or parties."[15]

District maps

Congressional districts

See also: United States congressional delegations from New York
Click the above image to enlarge it.
Source: The National Atlas of the United States of America

New York comprises 27 congressional districts. The map to the right depicts New York's congressional district lines as drawn following the 2010 United States Census. The table below lists New York's current House representatives.

New York delegation to the United States House of Representatives
NamePartyPositionAssumed officeTerm ends
Brian HigginsDemocratic PartyDistrict 26 2005January 3, 2017
Carolyn B. MaloneyDemocratic PartyDistrict 12 1993January 3, 2017
Charles B. RangelDemocratic PartyDistrict 13 1971January 3, 2017
Chris CollinsRepublican PartyDistrict 27 2013January 3, 2017
Chris GibsonRepublican PartyDistrict 19 2011January 3, 2017
Daniel DonovanRepublican PartyDistrict 11 2015January 3, 2017
Eliot EngelDemocratic PartyDistrict 16 1989January 3, 2017
Elise StefanikRepublican PartyDistrict 21 2015January 3, 2017
Grace MengDemocratic PartyDistrict 6 2013January 3, 2017
Gregory W. MeeksDemocratic PartyDistrict 5 2013January 3, 2017
Hakeem JeffriesDemocratic PartyDistrict 8 2013January 3, 2017
Jerrold NadlerDemocratic PartyDistrict 10 1993January 3, 2017
John KatkoRepublican PartyDistrict 24 2015January 3, 2017
José E. SerranoDemocratic PartyDistrict 15 1991January 3, 2017
Joseph CrowleyDemocratic PartyDistrict 14 1999January 3, 2017
Katheleen M. RiceDemocratic PartyDistrict 4 2015January 3, 2017
Lee ZeldinRepublican PartyDistrict 1 2015January 3, 2017
Louise SlaughterDemocratic PartyDistrict 25 1987January 3, 2017
Nita LoweyDemocratic PartyDistrict 17 1989January 3, 2017
Nydia VelázquezDemocratic PartyDistrict 7 1993January 3, 2017
Paul TonkoDemocratic PartyDistrict 20 2009January 3, 2017
Peter T. KingRepublican PartyDistrict 2 1993January 3, 2017
Richard L. HannaRepublican PartyDistrict 22 2011January 3, 2017
Sean MaloneyDemocratic PartyDistrict 18 2013January 3, 2017
Steve IsraelDemocratic PartyDistrict 3 2013January 3, 2017
Tom ReedRepublican PartyDistrict 23 2010January 3, 2017
Yvette D. ClarkeDemocratic PartyDistrict 9 2007January 3, 2017

State legislative maps

See also: New York State Senate and New York State Assembly

New York comprises 63 state Senate districts and 150 state House districts. State senators and representatives are elected every two years in partisan elections. To access current and historic state legislative district maps, click here.[16]


There are conflicting opinions regarding the correlation between partisan gerrymandering and electoral competitiveness. Some critics contend that the dominant redistricting methods result in a lack of competitive elections. Jennifer Clark, a political science professor at the University of Houston, said, "The redistricting process has important consequences for voters. In some states, incumbent legislators work together to protect their own seats, which produces less competition in the political system. Voters may feel as though they do not have a meaningful alternative to the incumbent legislator. Legislators who lack competition in their districts have less incentive to adhere to their constituents’ opinions."[17]

Some question the impact of redistricting on electoral competitiveness. In 2006, Emory University professors Alan Abramowitz, Brad Alexander and Matthew Gunning wrote, "[Some] studies have concluded that redistricting has a neutral or positive effect on competition. ... [It] is often the case that partisan redistricting has the effect of reducing the safety of incumbents, thereby making elections more competitive."[18]

The individuals involved in redistricting must balance the desire for increased competitiveness with other principles that might conflict with that goal, such as compactness, contiguity, and maintaining communities of interest. For instance, it may at times be impossible to draw a competitive district that is both compact and preserves communities of interest.

In 2011, James Cottrill, a professor of political science at Santa Clara University, published a study of the effect of "non-legislative approaches" to redistricting on the competitiveness of congressional elections. Cottrill found that "particular types of [non-legislative approaches] encourage the appearance in congressional elections of experienced and well-financed challengers." Cottrill cautioned, however, that non-legislative approaches "contribute neither to decreased vote percentages when incumbents win elections nor to a greater probability of their defeat."[19]


See also: Margin of victory analysis for the 2014 congressional elections

In 2014, Ballotpedia analyzed the margins of victory in all 435 contests for the United States House of Representatives. Ballotpedia found that the average margin of victory was 35.8 percent, compared to 31.8 percent in 2012. An election is deemed competitive if it was won by a margin of victory of 5 percent or less. A total of 318 elections (73 percent of all House elections) were won by margins of victory of 20 percent or more. Only 26 elections (6 percent of the total) were won by margins of victory of 5 percent or less. See the table below for further details.

Note: The data below are provided only for informational purposes. It should be noted that there are conflicting opinions regarding the correlation between redistricting and competitiveness. A variety of factors at the local, state and federal levels can impact electoral competitiveness.

In New York, 19 elections for the United States House of Representatives were won by margins of victory of 20 percent or greater. The smallest margin of victory occurred in District 25, where Louise Slaughter (D) won by 0.4 percent. The largest margin of victory occurred in District 15, where jose Serrano (D) won by 87.9 percent. The average margin of victory in New York was 38.7 percent. See the table below for full details.

Electoral margins of victory in 2014 United States House of Representatives elections, New York
District Winner Margin of victory Total votes cast Top opponent
District 1 Republican Party Lee Zeldin 8.7% 176,719 Tim Bishop
District 2 Republican Party Peter King 36.4% 146,617 Patricia M. Maher
District 3 Democratic Party Steve Israel 9.2% 171,163 Grant Lally
District 4 Democratic Party Kathleen M. Rice 5.5% 175,305 Bruce Blakeman
District 5 Democratic Party Gregory Meeks 76.1% 94,400 Allen Steinhardt
District 6 Democratic Party Grace Meng 43.2% 77,306 Blank/Void/Scattering
District 7 Democratic Party Nydia Velazquez 74.3% 68,522 Jose Luis Fernandez
District 8 Democratic Party Hakeem Jeffries 74.2% 95,113 Alan Bellone
District 9 Democratic Party Yvette Clarke 71.8% 101,606 Daniel Cavanagh
District 10 Democratic Party Jerrold Nadler 68% 113,226 Ross Brady
District 11 Republican Party Michael Grimm 12.3% 110,999 Domenic Recchia
District 12 Democratic Party Carolyn Maloney 57.8% 117,420 Nick Di Iorio
District 13 Democratic Party Charles Rangel 63.8% 91,834 Daniel Vila Rivera
District 14 Democratic Party Joseph Crowley 64.7% 67,372 Elizabeth Perri
District 15 Democratic Party Jose Serrano 87.9% 61,268 Eduardo Ramirez
District 16 Democratic Party Eliot Engel 43.7% 138,655 Blank/Void/Scattering
District 17 Democratic Party Nita Lowey 12.3% 181,674 Chris Day
District 18 Democratic Party Sean Maloney 1.8% 186,640 Nan Hayworth
District 19 Republican Party Chris Gibson 28.1% 210,351 Sean Eldridge
District 20 Democratic Party Paul Tonko 21.7% 211,965 Jim Fischer
District 21 Republican Party Elise Stefanik 20.5% 181,558 Aaron Woolf
District 22 Republican Party Richard Hanna 48.1% 175,372 Blank/Void/Scattering
District 23 Republican Party Tom Reed 21.9% 195,874 Martha Robertson
District 24 Republican Party John Katko 18.8% 203,417 Dan Maffei
District 25 Democratic Party Louise Slaughter 0.4% 196,516 Mark Assini
District 26 Democratic Party Brian Higgins 34.7% 173,911 Kathy Weppner
District 27 Republican Party Chris Collins 39.9% 215,147 Jim O'Donnell

State legislatures

See also: Margin of victory in state legislative elections

In 2014, Ballotpedia conducted a study of competitive districts in 44 state legislative chambers between 2010 and 2012. Ballotpedia found that there were 61 fewer competitive general election contests in 2012 than in 2010. Of the 44 chambers studied, 25 experienced a net loss in the number of competitive elections. A total of 17 experienced a net increase. In total, 16.2 percent of the 3,842 legislative contests studied saw competitive general elections in 2010. In 2012, only 14.6 percent of the contests studied saw competitive general elections. An election was considered competitive if it was won by a margin of victory of 5 percent or less. An election was considered mildly competitive if it was won by a margin of victory between 5 and 10 percent. For more information regarding this report, including methodology, click here.

Note: These data are provided only for informational purposes. It should be noted that there are conflicting opinions regarding the correlation between redistricting and competitiveness. A variety of factors at the local, state and federal levels can impact electoral competitiveness.

There were eight competitive elections for the New York State Senate in 2012, compared to six in 2010. There was one mildly competitive state Senate race in 2012, compared to four in 2010. This amounted to a net loss of one competitive election.

There were four competitive elections for the New York State Assembly in 2012, compared to seven in 2010. There were six mildly competitive state Assembly races in 2012, compared to nine in 2010. This amounted to a net loss of six competitive elections.

Partisan composition

The tables below summarize the current partisan composition of the New York House of Representatives and the New York State Senate.


SLP badge.png
Party As of May 2015
     Democratic Party 105
     Republican Party 44
     Vacancy 1
Total 150


Party As of May 2015
     Democratic Party 31
     Republican Party 32
Total 63

Race and ethnicity

See also: Majority-minority districts

Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 mandates that electoral district lines cannot be drawn in such a manner as to "improperly dilute minorities' voting power."

No voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure shall be imposed or applied by any State or political subdivision to deny or abridge the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color.[11]

—Voting Rights Act of 1965[20]

States and other political subdivisions may create majority-minority districts in order to comply with Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. A majority-minority district is a district in which minority groups comprise a majority of the district's total population. As of 2013, New York was home to nine congressional majority-minority districts.[4][5][6]

Proponents of majority-minority districts maintain that these districts are a necessary hindrance to the practice of "cracking." Cracking occurs when a constituency is divided between several districts in order to prevent it from achieving a majority in any one district. In addition, supporters argue that the drawing of majority-minority districts has resulted in an increased number of minority representatives in state legislatures and Congress.[4][5][6]

Critics, meanwhile, contend that the establishment of majority-minority districts results in "packing." Packing occurs when a constituency or voting group is placed within a single district, thereby minimizing its influence in other districts. Because minority groups tend to vote Democratic, critics argue that majority-minority districts ultimately present an unfair advantage to Republicans by consolidating Democratic votes into a smaller number of districts.[4][5][6]


See also: Demographics of congressional districts as of 2013 and Demographics of congressional districts as of 2013 (as percentages)

The tables below provide demographic information for each of New York's congressional districts as of 2013. At that time, the population of the largest congressional district, District 5, totaled 747,137, and the population of the smallest, District 12, totaled 708,992, which represented a difference of 5.4 percent.[21]

Demographics of New York's congressional districts (as percentages)
District Hispanic White Black Native
Asian Pacific
Other Multiple
New York 17.90% 57.80% 14.42% 0.24% 7.54% 0.03% 0.48% 1.59%
District 1 12.8% 77.6% 4.5% 0.2% 3.5% 0% 0.1% 1.3%
District 2 21.4% 64.8% 9.3% 0.1% 3.2% 0% 0.2% 1%
District 3 10.1% 72.1% 2.8% 0.1% 13.2% 0% 0.4% 1.3%
District 4 18.1% 60.3% 13.8% 0.1% 6% 0% 0.5% 1.3%
District 5 19.1% 11.6% 48.8% 0.3% 12.7% 0.1% 4.5% 3%
District 6 18.7% 37.9% 3.2% 0.3% 37.4% 0% 0.5% 2%
District 7 43.8% 27.9% 8% 0.2% 18.2% 0% 0.5% 1.4%
District 8 17.8% 22.6% 53% 0.2% 4.6% 0.1% 0.4% 1.3%
District 9 10.8% 30.5% 50.6% 0.2% 6.2% 0% 0.4% 1.4%
District 10 12.1% 64.8% 3.6% 0.1% 17.4% 0% 0.2% 1.8%
District 11 15.6% 63.7% 7% 0.1% 12.2% 0% 0.2% 1.1%
District 12 13.6% 67.2% 4.3% 0.2% 12.4% 0.1% 0.4% 2%
District 13 54% 13.3% 26.4% 0.1% 4.1% 0% 0.6% 1.5%
District 14 47.6% 24.6% 9.5% 0.2% 16.3% 0% 0.5% 1.3%
District 15 66.1% 2.3% 28.1% 0.2% 1.9% 0% 0.6% 0.8%
District 16 23.3% 38.9% 31% 0.2% 4.5% 0.1% 0.5% 1.6%
District 17 20.3% 62.1% 9.8% 0.1% 5.9% 0% 0.3% 1.5%
District 18 15.2% 71% 8.6% 0.1% 3% 0% 0.3% 1.8%
District 19 6.5% 86% 4% 0.1% 1.5% 0% 0.1% 1.8%
District 20 5.6% 78.9% 8.5% 0.2% 3.9% 0% 0.5% 2.3%
District 21 2.9% 91% 2.7% 0.8% 0.9% 0.1% 0.1% 1.6%
District 22 3.3% 88.9% 3.4% 0.2% 2.3% 0% 0.1% 1.7%
District 23 3.3% 89.6% 2.7% 0.6% 2.1% 0% 0.1% 1.5%
District 24 3.8% 83.4% 7.8% 0.5% 2.4% 0% 0.1% 2%
District 25 7.7% 71.6% 15% 0.2% 3.5% 0% 0.4% 1.7%
District 26 5.5% 71.3% 17.6% 0.3% 3.2% 0% 0.1% 1.9%
District 27 2.4% 92.3% 2.3% 0.7% 1% 0.1% 0.1% 1.2%
Source: United States Census Bureau, "2009-2013 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates," accessed April 8, 2015
Demographics of New York's congressional districts
District Hispanic White Black Native
Asian Pacific
Other Multiple
New York 3,488,083 11,264,136 2,809,061 47,350 1,468,710 5,814 93,224 310,675 19,487,053
District 1 91,858 559,139 32,693 1,273 25,386 85 928 9,056 720,418
District 2 154,263 467,803 67,105 854 22,758 16 1,350 7,429 721,578
District 3 73,051 519,631 19,996 957 94,925 34 2,967 9,189 720,750
District 4 129,479 431,308 98,583 727 43,060 83 3,356 9,045 715,641
District 5 142,800 86,546 364,452 2,318 94,601 483 33,351 22,586 747,137
District 6 134,229 271,909 23,222 1,904 268,088 236 3,536 14,327 717,451
District 7 323,789 206,370 59,153 1,329 134,919 66 3,981 10,359 739,966
District 8 129,279 163,445 384,181 1,362 33,397 493 3,212 9,256 724,625
District 9 78,533 222,399 368,648 1,155 44,966 153 2,725 10,394 728,973
District 10 86,734 465,357 25,750 1,059 124,716 14 1,793 13,021 718,444
District 11 112,109 458,624 50,427 952 87,724 138 1,456 8,019 719,449
District 12 96,147 476,460 30,418 1,150 87,595 466 2,508 14,248 708,992
District 13 400,300 98,716 195,539 943 30,608 290 4,380 10,788 741,564
District 14 339,298 175,006 67,416 1,078 115,892 343 3,760 9,491 712,284
District 15 476,465 16,915 202,895 1,486 13,714 98 4,087 5,517 721,177
District 16 169,663 283,608 226,175 1,213 33,129 456 3,454 11,313 729,011
District 17 147,252 450,192 70,812 907 42,770 31 2,488 10,846 725,298
District 18 108,988 509,805 61,467 837 21,808 36 1,812 12,831 717,584
District 19 46,227 616,044 28,491 798 10,384 64 970 13,105 716,083
District 20 40,304 567,977 61,466 1,212 28,306 310 3,567 16,447 719,589
District 21 20,504 654,387 19,765 5,754 6,238 691 554 11,368 719,261
District 22 23,379 635,444 24,550 1,643 16,361 151 976 12,452 714,956
District 23 23,848 642,118 19,328 4,237 15,073 173 726 10,942 716,445
District 24 27,402 597,277 56,221 3,669 16,878 106 859 14,128 716,540
District 25 55,349 515,167 107,698 1,434 25,038 161 2,870 12,279 719,996
District 26 39,358 510,514 126,161 2,346 23,109 175 988 13,800 716,451
District 27 17,475 661,975 16,449 4,753 7,267 462 570 8,439 717,390
Source: United States Census Bureau, "2009-2013 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates," accessed April 8, 2015

Redistricting after the 2010 census

See also: Redistricting in New York after the 2010 census

Congressional redistricting, 2010

Following the 2010 United States Census, New York lost two congressional seats. At the time of redistricting, Democrats controlled the governor's mansion and the New York State Assembly, but Republicans held a narrow majority in the New York State Senate. The legislature proved unable to pass its own congressional redistricting plan. A panel of three federal judges appointed federal magistrate judge Roanne Mann to implement a map. On March 7, 2012, Mann issued her map, which was drawn by Nathaniel Persily, a professor at Columbia Law School. Michael Barone and Chuck McCutcheon, writing for The Almanac of American Politics, described that map as follows:[15][22]

[The map] morphed the state’s 29 existing contorted districts into 27 geographically compact seats. In a past era, indignant House incumbents might have browbeaten the legislature into halting such a rearrangement, but in 2012, the court map was largely met with reluctant acceptance. The plan even-handedly eliminated retiring Democrat Hinchey’s Upstate seat and the Queens seat of Republican special election winner Bob Turner, who hadn’t expected to win reelection anyway. On March 19, the three judge federal panel approved the map with minor changes.[11]

The Almanac of American Politics

State legislative redistricting, 2010

The advisory redistricting commission issued its state legislative district proposal on January 26, 2012. On March 11, 2012, the state legislature a approved revised version of this proposal, which was signed into law by the governor on the same day. Technical corrections to the maps were approved by the legislature on March 15, 2012, and signed into law on March 27, 2012. The maps were subject to litigation; ultimately, however, the maps were upheld.[15]

Redistricting ballot measures

Voting on
elections and campaigns
Ballot measures
By state
By year
Not on ballot
See also: Redistricting measures on the ballot and List of New York ballot measures

Ballotpedia has tracked the following ballot measure(s) relating to redistricting in New York.

  1. New York Redistricting Commission Amendment, Proposal 1 (2014)

Recent news

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See also

External links

Additional reading


  1. Republicans control the Senate; Democrats control the Assembly.
  2. 2.0 2.1 An advisory commission is also involved in the process.
  3. 3.0 3.1 All About Redistricting, "Why does it matter?" accessed April 8, 2015
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Indy Week, "Cracked, stacked and packed: Initial redistricting maps met with skepticism and dismay," June 29, 2011
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 The Atlantic, "How the Voting Rights Act Hurts Democrats and Minorities," June 17, 2013
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Redrawing the Lines, "The Role of Section 2 - Majority Minority Districts," accessed April 6, 2015
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 All About Redistricting, "Where are the lines drawn?" accessed April 9, 2015
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 FairVote, "Redistricting Glossary," accessed April 9, 2015
  9. The Heritage Guide to the Constitution, "Election Regulations," accessed April 13, 2015
  10. Brookings, "Redistricting and the United States Constitution," March 22, 2011
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  12. Brennan Center for Justice, "A Citizen's Guide to Redistricting," accessed March 25, 2015
  13. The Constitution of the United States of America, "Article 1, Section 2," accessed March 25, 2015
  14. All About Redistricting, "Who draws the lines?" accessed March 25, 2015
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 15.5 15.6 All About Redistricting, "New York," accessed May 8, 2015
  16. The New York State Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment, "View District Maps," accessed May 8, 2015
  17. The Daily Cougar, "Redistricting will affect November election," October 16, 2012
  18. The Journal of Politics, "Incumbency, Redistricting, and the Decline of Competition in U.S. House Elections," February 2006
  19. Polity, "The Effects of Non-Legislative Approaches to Redistricting on Competition in Congressional Elections," October 3, 2011
  20. Yale Law School, The Avalon Project, "Voting Rights Act of 1965; August 6, 1965," accessed April 6, 2015
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