New State Senate District Doesn’t Do Utica or New Hartford any Favors
The court appointed special master given the task of redrawing the gerrymandered district lines in the New York State Senate released his draft of the map late Monday and Senator Griffo's district is still split in Oneida County.
The new map for Griffo's 49th Senate District includes much of Oneida County including Rome and the northern part of the county, but excludes Utica and New Hartford. Utica and New Hartford are somehow pushed into the 53rd Senate District where Democrat Rachel May, near Syracuse, is the incumbent.
The map is a draft and the public has the opportunity to comment on it to State Supreme Court Justice Patrick McAllister through Wednesday. After that, the Steuben County Court Justice is expected to finalize the State Senate and Congressional maps by Friday. The U.S. House of Representatives map was released earlier on Monday.
While experts say Justice McAllister might make some tweaks based on public comment, significant changes in the proposed maps are not expected due to the short proximity of the August 23rd primary. The primary must be completed by the 23rd in order to allow for military absentee ballots to be returned in time for the general election.
The independent master, Jonathan Cervas of the Institute of Politics and Strategy at Carneige Mellon University was appointed by Justice McAllister to redraw the lines after he found the NYS Senate and House of Representatives map in New York unconstitutional. Cervas is considered an expert in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and has worked as an assistant to a federal court Special Master in drawing remedial maps in redistricting cases involving minority rights.