Albany, NY – Assemblymember Kevin A. Cahill (D- Ulster, Dutchess) reaffirmed his pledge yesterday to support a constitutional amendment which would vastly improve the redistricting process by creating an independent, non-partisan commission tasked with crafting fair Congressional and State legislative districts. In order to become law, the proposed amendment must now be approved by a majority of voters when it goes to the ballot in November 2014.
“I have long been a supporter of independent redistricting and am proud to vote in favor of reform,” said Assemblymember Cahill. “For years the citizens of New York have been disenfranchised by the partisan politics that lead to gerrymandering. With the passage of this amendment, the legislature can begin to restore public faith in our electoral system by ensuring that future election districts are developed in manner that puts the interests of the public ahead of the politicians.
The bill also provides protections which guarantee minority voting rights, requires that large disparities in population among districts be sufficiently explained, and calls for extensive public hearings from around the state each time new districts must be created.
“The Legislative Taskforce on Demographic Research and Reapportionment, the group currently tasked with dividing legislative districts, lacked the transparency and this important process deserves. In just the two counties surrounding my hometown, there are a total of six different Senators and six separate Assemblymembers representing communities that have been carved to pieces by LATFOR. To have two modest-sized counties represented by twelve different representatives is irrational and needlessly confusing. That is why I voted against the districts they proposed this past year. The people of New York deserve fairly drawn, logical, and truly contiguous districts. When the time comes, I hope voters approve this amendment to the New York State constitution and look forward to the day when a non-partisan redistricting process is constitutionally based.”