Election officials support redistricting plan
YATES COUNTY—Yates is currently part of the 29th congressional district of N.Y. State. However, a realignment proposal by Magistrate Judge Roanne Mann of Federal District Court in Brooklyn would place the county in the newly formed 23rd district. Amy Daines and Robert Brechko, the commissioners of the county’s Board Elections, stated they have no opposition to the new lines that have been drawn out.
Mann introduced her realignment suggestion on Monday, March 5 after a three-judge panel (led by Reena Raggi of the U.S. Court of Appeals) appointed her to look over the congressional redistricting process. As a result of the 2010 Census, New York must reduce it delegation size for congress from 29 to 27 members.
The congressional district Yates is in also includes Schuyler, Steuben, Chemung, Allegany, Cattaraugus, Ontario, and Monroe Counties. If the state’s new congressional lines end up being based on Mann’s proposition, Yates would wind up in a district that would include all the counties in the current 29th with the exception of Monroe and the western part of Ontario. It would also add Tioga, Tompkins, and Seneca Counties. Yates would still be represented by Tom Reed (R-Corning) in congress.
Daines explained since Yates would still have the same representative in congress, she did not see the proposed realignment having a drastic effect on the county. The more important matter, she stated, is having a decision made soon so the Board of Elections can begin preparing for upcoming primaries. The state primary for federal offices is set to take place on June 26 and petitioning is scheduled to begin March 20. According to Daines, the county cannot move forward with preparations for the election until new districts are confirmed. The longer it takes to draw the lines, Yates will be pressed to get work done, such as petition distributions and printing ballots, in a shorter period of time. She added since 2012 also includes a presidential primary (scheduled for April 24); the Board of Elections already has a busier year than normal. “The sooner we can draw our lines, the sooner we can get our work done,” spoke Daines.
Along with keeping the same congressman, Brechko mentioned Yates does not face the problem of being divided among different districts, unlike some other counties. Brechko expressed frustration since the county still has had to stall the primary preparation process.