"This agreement will permanently reform the redistricting process in New York to once and for all end self-interested and partisan gerrymandering," Governor Cuomo said. "With the legislature agreeing to pass this historic constitutional amendment twice by a specified date, and passing a tough statue that mirrors the amendment, we have taken a major step toward finally reforming the state's broken redistricting process. New York is now a leader among the growing number of states that have reformed their redistricting process to stop such gerrymandering." -- Governor Cuomo
“Cuomo’s Redistricting Constitutional Amendment is neither reform nor historic. It is totally flawed. Unfortunately, it was approved by the voters in November, 2014.
- Bill Samuels
Believe it not, Cuomo’s 2014 Restricting Amendment requires combining Staten Island with Suffolk, and it get weirder….
1. It uses the constitution to give political parties a legal and express stranglehold on redistricting.
2. It sets up on even number commission, to foster gridlock in order to allow the Legslature to take over.
3. It memorializes and requires a patronage driven system for redistricting.
4. It leaves the confusing and unconstitutional provisions of the current contstitution in place.
5. It doesn't expressly prohibit gerrymandering.
6. It doesn't set the number of senate districts or clarify how the number is to be determined.
7. It encourages malapportionment between districts and regions.
The Constitution places the power over redistricting in the hands of the Legislature to draw their own districts every ten years, enacting them as law upon signature by the Governor. Leading into the 2012 redistricting year Governor Andrew Cuomo both as a campaign pledge and once in office as Governor promised to veto any gerrymandered lines proposed by the Senate and Assembly. On March 14, 2012, Governor Andrew Cuomo failed to veto the lines and in fact signed them in exchange for a deeply flawed Constitutional Amendment creating a redistricting commission beginning after 2020 that was approved by the Legislature for the first time in 2012 and again by a newly elected Legislature in January, 2013. Voters decided to approve this Amendment in November, 2014.
In 2012 Governor Andrew Cuomo, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Senate President Pro-Temp Dean Skelos decided to make a deal on redistricting that would allow the Assembly and Senate to draw their own lines while leaving the hard part of drawing Congress for the Federal Courts. Districts minimize bi-partisan competition by stacking districts with super majorities of one party or another, so that the general election rarely matters for the party in the minority. This is true for both the Senate and Assembly.
Below are some examples of partisan gerrymandering of both the Democratically controlled Assembly Districts and Republican controlled Senate Districts that ignore constitutional redistricting principals in an effort to protect incumbents.
Governor Cuomo's Redistricting Amendment on November, 2014 Ballot, Which Subsequently Passed
"...If either house shall fail to approve the legislation implementing the second redistricting plan, or the governor shall veto such legislation and the legislature shall fail to override such veto, each house shall introduce such implementing legislation with any amendments each house of the legislature deems necessary.... If approved by both houses, such legislation shall be presented to the governor for action."