By Ethan Stark-Miller
A draft of new Congressional district lines drawn by Steuben County court appointed special master Jonathan Cervas were released Monday and it looks to give House Republicans much more of a fighting chance than they had under lines drawn by state legislature Democrats.
Cervas – a neutral expert and a fellow at Carnegie Mellon University – was tasked with drawing new Congressional and state Senate lines after the New York State Court of Appeals threw out maps drafted by the Democratic majority state legislature earlier this year on grounds that they were unconstitutionally gerrymandered to benefit Democrats.
Overall the new maps don’t look good for Democrats, who are fighting to keep control of their House majority this November. According to the court, out of the state’s 26 House seats, the new maps would create three Republican-leaning, 15 Democratic-leaning and 8 competitive seats within 45 and 55 percent performance between the two parties.
“It creates a much more competitive map with compact districts that are all equally populated,” Wice said. “It provides Republicans more opportunities to run than they had in the previous plan.”
New draft state Senate maps are also expected to be released later on Monday.