From New York Times:
There are so many things wrong with New York State’s self-dealing redistricting process. Time to add one more to the list: One of the first decisions made by the bipartisan mapmaking committee — made up of two state senators, two members of the Assembly and two politically connected experts — was to violate a new state law requiring that prisoners be counted in their home districts, not where they are serving time.
Each election district is supposed to have about the same number of potential voters. That has always been a problem in traditionally Republican areas upstate. So, in a typically corrupt Albany agreement, the legislative mapmakers have long counted prisoners in these districts, even though inmates can’t vote.
Last year, when Democrats controlled all three branches of government, they passed a law to end prison gerrymandering. Republicans sued, but the case is still in its early stages. The redistricting panel — the Legislative Advisory Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment — has decided to ignore the law while the Republicans’ suit goes forward.
As lawmakers draw their districts, and New York’s Congressional maps, they have access to a large bag of tricks to keep themselves and their favorites in power. But this one isn’t just shameless. It’s flat-out illegal.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has long promised to veto any electoral maps that are politically skewed and not created by an independent group. This group is certainly not independent, and the skewing has already begun. He should have his veto pen ready.