The de Blasio administration has joined a Supreme Court fight that could change the way voting districts are carved up to exclude residents like immigrants and felons from the population count, the Daily News has learned.
If successful, Evenwel vs. Abbott would dramatically change the political landscape in immigrant-rich communities like New York, because it would draw districts to include only eligible voters.
Immigrants, felons who have lost the right to vote and children would be excluded.
In court papers filed last week, the city’s Law Department said rewriting the rules would punish New York City for its diverse population.
It would “effectively wipe millions of individual residents and entire families off the map, rendering those residents and their unique needs invisible to our local democracy,” the brief read.
The brief argues that the city’s use of total population in apportioning districts “conforms with fundamental tenets of representational democracy.”
It ensures that “all residents are entitled to equal representation, a principle of particular importance given the nation’s historic commitment to diversity, inclusion and robust civic involvement and debate,” the brief adds.
Zachary Carter, head of the city Law Department, said that counting everyone in an electoral district is important because all residents use city services, not just those eligible to vote.