August 20, 2014
Supporters of a November ballot amendment on redistricting say it will help prevent rampant partisan gerrymandering when the next district lines are drawn in the Senate and the Assembly. The groups Citizens Union and League of Women Voters are making voters aware of the amendment and giving them reasons why voters should approve the measure.
Citizen’s Union’s Dick Dadey says the amendment creates a new 10-member commission that would draw the new Senate and Assembly lines, based on several specific principles of fairness, then present them to the legislature for an up or down vote. He says voters should “seize” the chance to change the balance of power in the Senate and Assembly.
“New Yorkers have a once in a half century opportunity,” Dadey said. “It’s rare in politics when voters are given the opportunity to take power away from the legislature.”
Opponents, including the reform groups NYPIRG and Common Cause, say the changes aren’t good enough, and would still give lawmakers ultimate authority to redraw the lines to their liking. They say a yes vote would enshrine those rights into the state’s constitution.