by Alex Custin
New York’s redistricting attempts continue to show little progress towards developing a plan that both the legislature and the governor will approve. The legislature continues to refuse to pass the redistricting commission bill that the governor proposed earlier this year. The governor in turn has continued to state that he will veto any redistricting plan that is not formed through an independent process. The governor has reminded the legislature that if they continue to insist upon using partisan methods to develop the redistricting plan, the courts will end up drawing the lines, and no one can truly predict what will happen if the courts get involved because of all of the changes that have to take place.
Another issue continues to add pressure on the government to develop a plan soon: the need to hold the primary early enough to be able to send absentee ballots to overseas servicemen. New York managed to get an exemption from this requirement in 2010 – it did not have to worry about it this year because it only applies to federal elections – but its chances of getting another exemption in 2012 appear to be quite slim. This issue adds even more complexity to New York’s election process because it appears that the government plans on keeping the current date for state and local primaries, which would mean New York would have presidential primaries in April, congressional primaries sometime around August, and state and local primaries in September. There was some consideration given to changing the state and local primaries to match the date of the congressional ones, but in an unsurprising result, the parties could not agree on a date to change it to. This is kind of interesting when you think about what it will mean for the congressional primaries. Perhaps the date will be set by the judge deciding New York’s suit requesting another exemption to the timeline for military absentee ballots. Continue reading