On Wednesday, New York’s Democratic legislators succumbed to the use of “gerrymandering.” The State Assembly and Senate approved the new map of 26 electoral districts, which could result in the Democrats electing three new members of Congress in the next elections, to the detriment of their Republican opponents.
Of the 26 precincts, number 10, which stretches like a twisted salamander through the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn, stands out. From the western end of Upper Manhattan, this precinct descends southward, only taking a few blocks of buildings attached to the Hudson River and traversing six different neighborhoods, to enter Brooklyn, where it snails through different parts of other neighborhoods like an aimless ship.
Democrats abuse of ” Gerrymandering,” while accusing Republicans of “voter suppression”
The controversial “gerrymandering” is a term coined in 1812, when then Massachusetts Governor Elbridge Gerry drew a constituency that stretched like a salamander to secure a seat for his party.
His political effort became known as the “Gerrymander” in honor of its inventor and its shape, and since then, the action of being tempted by its siren song is gerrymandering. The new distribution of the 10th district, whose silhouette was already twisted, also responds to the enlargement of another district, the 11th, a Republican stronghold in Staten Island that with the changes includes new neighborhoods in southeast Brooklyn with a Democratic majority and whose votes could tip the balance to the Democratic side in the elections.
The redistribution of electoral districts is done in the United States every ten years, once the results of the electoral census are released, and only affects those states in which the population has grown or declined enough to gain or lose representatives in the federal Congress. New York, which until now elected 27 congressmen, has seen its representation reduced to 26.
Criticism from Republicans
The proposal, presented last Sunday, was soon criticized by the Republican Party, which argued that New York’s redistricting shows that Democrats do not care about voters’ rights, but about consolidating power.
New York Republican Committee Chairman Nick Langworthy went a step further, asserting that “these maps are the most brazen and outrageous attempt at rigging the election to keep (Democrat) Nancy Pelosi as Speaker” of Congress.
“For all of their phony protestations about transparency and fairness in elections, what they’re doing is textbook filthy, partisan gerrymandering that is clearly in violation of the New York State Constitution,” Langworthy insisted.