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New York Independent Redistricting Amendment (2014)

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Independent Redistricting Amendment
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Type:Constitutional amendment
Constitution:New York Constitution
Referred by:New York Legislature
Topic:Redistricting
Status:On the ballot

The New York Independent Redistricting Amendment is on the November 4, 2014 ballot in the state of New York as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment. The measure, upon voter approval, would create an independent redistricting commission to establish state senate, assembly and congressional districts.[1]

The amendment was primarily sponsored in the New York Assembly by House Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-65) as A 2086 and in the New York Senate by Senate Co-President Dean Skelos (R-9) as S 2107.[1][2]

Support

The measure was sponsored in the New York Legislature by Rep. Sheldon Silver (D-65) and Sen. Dean Skelos (R-9).

Supporters

Opposition

Opponents

  • Common Cause New York[3]

Arguments

  • Common Cause Executive Director Susan Lerner argued, “The proposed constitutional amendment sets up a hyperpartisan, expensive and ineffective structure for redistricting. Ultimately this is not an independent process, and the voters lose.”[3]

Media editorial positions

See also: Endorsements of New York ballot measures, 2014

Opposition

  • Albany Times Union said, "The measure’s supporters claim it will turn redistricting over to an independent commission. But as surely as a puppet doesn’t act independently from its unseen puppeteer, this commission would be a tool of the legislature that created it. And which wrote loopholes into it big enough to drag a gerrymandered district through… If Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Legislature have their way, politicians will be even more empowered than they are now to manipulate the political maps, and essentially pick who votes for them."[4]
  • The Post-Standard said, "Question: When does the word “independent” mean ”controlled by the same old party leaders”? Answer: When it comes in front of “redistricting commission”… Voters have one more chance to defeat this ill-conceived, undemocratic and partisan constitutional amendment."[5]

Path to the ballot

See also: Amending the New York Constitution

According to the New York Constitution, a majority vote is required in two successive sessions of the New York State Legislature in order to qualify an amendment for the statewide ballot.

The measure was referred to the ballot after being approved by both houses in successive terms by simple majority. S2107 was approved for a second time by the New York State Senate on January 23, 2013. A2086 was approved for a second time by the New York State Assembly on January 14, 2013.[1][2]

Senate vote

January 23, 2013 Senate vote

New York S2107 Senate Vote
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 43 68.25%
No2031.75%

Assembly vote

January 14, 2013 Assembly vote

New York A2086 Assembly Vote
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 133 89.86%
No1510.14%

See also

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References