Judge delays some New York primaries after court throws cards

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ALBANY, NY (AP) — A New York judge on Friday ordered that the state’s Congressional and Senate primaries be postponed until Aug. 23 to allow enough time to replace district maps that were ruled unconstitutional this week.

ALBANY, NY (AP) — A New York judge on Friday ordered that the state’s Congressional and Senate primaries be postponed until Aug. 23 to allow enough time to replace district maps that were ruled unconstitutional this week.

State Judge Patrick McAllister moved the primaries from their original June 28 date. He said the independent expert he commissioned to help him create new maps, Special Master Jonathan Cervas, will finish drawing the districts by May 20.

New York is expected to hold the gubernatorial and state Assembly primaries separately in June unless lawmakers or Governor Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, decides to delay. New York once held congressional and state office primaries on separate dates, but lawmakers in 2019 consolidated them to save money, increase voter turnout and make the process less confusing for the public.

On Wednesday, New York’s highest court rejected new Congressional and state Senate maps that had been widely seen as favoring Democrats. The majority decision largely agreed with Republican voters who argued that congressional district boundaries were unconstitutional.

Republicans also successfully argued that lawmakers lacked the power to draw the maps of Congress and the state Senate in the first place. In 2014, voters approved an anti-gerrymandering constitutional amendment that created an independent redistricting commission. But the Republican and Democratic commissioners couldn’t agree on a single set of maps, so lawmakers decided to draw the maps themselves.

The court’s rejection dashed the Democrats’ national redistricting hopes, which relied heavily on their ability to gerrymand New York state to maximize the number of seats they could win in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Cervas, who draws the most recent maps, has previously helped create legislative district maps for the Pennsylvania Legislative Redistribution Commission.

A spokesman for the state board of elections said Thursday that the state is asking the US Department of Justice whether a federal court should review a federal primary delay. The spokesman said Friday that lawyers are still reviewing the case.

Marina Villeneuve, The Associated Press





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