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New York appeals court rejects Broome County redistricting maps

The redrawn Broome County Legislature's district map.
Broome County Redistricting Ad Hoc Committee
The redrawn Broome County Legislature's district map.

The Broome County Legislature’s redrawn district maps were recently thrown out for a second time in court. A New York appeals court backed a ruling against the maps, which some argued were gerrymandered.

The legislature's district maps are redrawn every 10 years. Legislators voted along party lines in 2022 to adopt the maps.

But a group of county residents sued over the maps, arguing that Republican legislators gerrymandered them to hold onto a two-thirds majority.

John Perticone represents Fair Maps for Broome County, the group opposed to the redrawn maps. He said the map breaks state redistricting laws, which prohibits districts from varying in population size by more than five percent.

The group also argues the legislature relied on the wrong data set to draw the maps and illegally split the town of Maine into three districts.

“Basically, they were taking the heavily Republican town of Maine, sections from it, and joining it with the more Democratic-leaning village of Endicott and the more Democratic-leaning community in Endwell,” Perticone said.

A Chenango Supreme Court judge agreed and threw out the maps earlier this year. The county appealed that decision. But last week, a New York State Supreme Court appellate division upheld the lower court’s ruling and rejected the maps again, ordering the county to redraw them.

In a statement, Broome County Legislature Chairman Dan Reynolds said the county is “obviously disappointed” with the appellate court’s decision. Reynolds said the county will review its options and make any necessary changes before the 2024 elections.

Broome County Legislature seats are up for election next year.