New York’s crucial once-in-a-decade redrawing of congressional and state legislative boundaries broke down along party lines as an “independent” redistricting commission for the second time proposed two competing sets of maps.
The impasse paves the way for lawmakers in Albany to take over the process, with no pretense of bipartisanship.
The 10-member commission –– created via a constitutional amendment approved by state voters in 2014 –– was meant to wrestle control of the map-making out of the hands of politicians after civic groups and Democrats expressed dismay over what they viewed as Republican gerrymandering following the 2010 census.
The group, made up of five Democrats and five Republicans, already had failed to coalesce around one set of maps in September.
At a public meeting on Monday, both sets of appointees complained that the other side wouldn’t compromise enough to make consensus maps possible.
Vice Chair Jack Martins, a Republican appointee, charged that Democrats stopped meeting with the GOP commissioners after Dec. 22.
Chair David Imamura, a Democratic appointee, said that Republicans never sent back counter proposals when his side asked for changes to their maps.
“It disturbs me to no end to see it end on this particular note,” said Elaine Frazier, a Democratic appointee to the commission. “We all worked very hard and I think we came so very close to agreeing with each other — we were surprised and in our surprise we pulled back from a consensus vote.”