New York


New York Redistricting Process

Congressional and Legislative

A politically appointed redistricting commission is charged with drafting legislative and congressional maps in New York. The President pro tempore of the New York State Senate, the Speaker of the New York State Assembly, and the minority leaders of the Senate and Assembly each select two members to the commission. Those eight commissioners must appoint two more members who are not enrolled with either of the two major parties by a vote of at least five members. The commissioners designate one member to be chair by majority vote. Commissioners must be registered voters of the state and no member shall within the last three years have been a member of or spouse of a member of the New York State Legislature or Congress; a statewide elected official; a state officer or employee or legislative employee; a lobbyist registered in New York; or a political party chairman. Seven members of the commission, including at least one vote from the nominees of each political party, must vote in favor of a map for it to be referred to the legislature. If seven members of the commission cannot agree on a plan by January first in the year ending in two then the plan, or plans, with the largest number of votes are referred to the legislature.

Once the Commission approves a plan and submits it to the legislature, it may either approve the plan with a majority vote or reject it. If the legislature rejects two separate plans it may amend the Commission’s proposals, but only with a two-thirds vote in both chambers. All plans must be signed by the Governor to become law.

The Supreme Court of New York has original jurisdiction over any challenges to the enacted plans.

Source: N.Y. Const. art. III, §§ 4, 5, 5-b.

Ballot Measure Process

Kinds of Ballot Measures
Only the New York Legislature may refer amendments to the ballot. There is no initiative or referendum process.

Source: N.Y. Const. art. XXIX.

Active Ballot Measures
  • New York Assembly Bill S08833/A10839; S515/A1916 (2021)
    • Status - Legislature gave first passage on July 23, 2020. Legislature gave second passage on January 20, 2021. Approved for placement on 2021 ballot.
    • Summary - This potential ballot measure would amend the New York Constitution to clarify the number of state senators, to repeal Article 3 Section 3, to count incarcerated persons for re-enumeration, to necessitate the state to count its population should the census fail to count the total number of residents of the state, to necessitate that the state redistricting commission submits plans before November 15 of years ending in one and submits a second plan if the first is not passed by the legislature or vetoed by the governor, to necessitate an affirmative vote of seven commissioners without regard to the appointing office to send a plan to the legislature. This measure must be approved by the 2021 state legislature to make it to the ballot in November 2021.

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