Last month’s Court of Appeals decision to throw out State Senate and Congressional maps drawn by Democrats—which elected officials hoped would give them the advantage in upcoming elections—has disrupted Albany.
A “special master” appointed by Steuben County Judge Patrick McAllister is set to submit new maps on May 16, which the judge must approve no later than four days later. An appeal to invalidate the Assembly maps failed, meaning those districts will stand. Most observers expect statewide primaries (for Governor, US Senate, Comptroller, and Assembly) to happen on June 28 and Congressional and State Senate elections on August 23. However, Albany leaders could decide to consolidate them.
These developments are causing considerable anxiety in political circles—especially within the State Senate, where members are unsure what their new districts will look like and if they will even live within their district’s boundaries. How the new districts will affect the legislative session, which is scheduled to end June 2, also is unclear.