Fast Facts

•  “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

• “I urge you not to support this deal. A constitutional amendment is worthy of support on its own, of course, but not at the expense of improved lines now. That is only good for the people who are counting on Albany staying exactly the way it is for another decade, but most New Yorkers think that’s far too long. Voting for anything less than a 2012 independent commission would violate the pledge that so many lawmakers signed and campaigned on.” – Former Mayor Ed Koch on the 2012 vote in the State Legislature on the amendment proposal.

• “The gerrymandering practice is very, very harmful to the community at large and I think it tends to accentuate the differences, the very strong differences, between the political parties.” – U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, Wall Street Journal, January 29, 2010.

• “Negotiated in secret by legislative leaders and the Governor, and passed in the dead of night without any opportunity for public comment or amendment, the proposed redistricting constitutional amendment passed by the Legislature in March, 2012 contains many troubling or inadequate provisions. Common Cause/NY opposes its passage.” — Susan Lerner, Executive Director of Common Cause-NY

• “Legislative semantics do not change the reality that the commission’s plan is little more than a recommendation to the Legislature, which can reject it for unstated reasons and draw its own lines,” Justice Patrick J. McGrath wrote. – Sam Roberts, The New York Times, “Ballot Item Would Reform Redistricting, at Least in Theory.”

• “The Legislature will be allowed to reject the Commission’s lines if they don’t like them, and substitute their own, making a mockery of the entire process and, in the end, allow politicians and the political parties to rig election results.”

• “…the authority over redistricting should be removed from the Legislature, whose members have an inescapable personal interest in the redrawing of the districts from which they will seek re-election.” –Committee on Election Law, New York City Bar, “A Proposed New York State Constitutional Amendment to Emancipate Redistricting from Partisan Gerrymanders Partisanship Channeled for Fair Line‐Drawing,” March, 2007.

• “When legislators are intimately involved in drawing their own district lines, there arises an irresistible temptation to conflate the public interest with personal or partisan gain.  The authority responsible for redistricting in New York State – and just as important, the staff supporting that process – should be meaningfully independent from undue legislative influence: free from obligation, and possibly even free from ex parte contact.” — The Brennan Center, “New York Redistricting Memo,” March 1, 2010.