NYC Public Advocate's Response To The Nys Court Of Appeals Rejecting District Maps

April 27th, 2022

Press Release

"This last-minute order from the New York State Court of Appeals, just weeks before voting begins, will and already has created chaos and ultimately be a disservice to voters. Splitting primaries will raise costs and lower voter turnout, undoing the reforms of years past and causing voters to become disillusioned and disengaged. In New York City, after immense community engagement and input, advocates crafted ‘Unity Maps,’ which were ultimately unused. It is those maps which should now be considered as we move forward to create maps where communities and voters are well represented and heard.

"Regardless of where district lines ultimately fall, it now falls to the state to conduct a massive voter engagement and education effort, to attempt to mitigate the drop in voter turnout in a state where turnout is already historically low. This work needs to be done across neighborhood boundaries and language barriers, and it must be accompanied by collaboration with candidates who have had the time and resources they’ve spent now upended. It is important to create accommodations so that neither voters nor the people seeking to represent them are disenfranchised.

"Amid a tide of conservative efforts to reduce voters’ voice and power, New York had an opportunity to stand as a beacon. The goal of redistricting is to ensure that voters are equitably, accurately represented and served by their government, and it is clear that in this decision and the ones that led up to it, New York has failed in that goal."

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