New York’s Democratic-held state legislature voted down a new congressional map on Monday that only provided their party one pickup opportunity for 2024.

The state’s Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC) submitted a new map to the state legislature on Feb. 15, which proposed changes that would have made it easier for one Republican and one Democrat to retain their seats, while making another GOP-held seat more vulnerable. The state Democrats in both chambers rejected the IRC’s proposal, and are likely to draw their own map that is more favorable ahead of November.

“They barely touched any districts around the state, and it was very clearly done to shore up those incumbents – one from each party,” Democratic state Sen. James Skoufis told CNN ahead of the vote. “I know this has been described as bipartisan, but the way I’ve characterized it is that this is mutually partisan.”

The New York Court of Appeals previously rejected the state legislature’s 2022 maps for partisan gerrymandering, and appointed a special master to draft another plan which eventually allowed for several Republican pickups in the midterm election.

The court decided to permit lawmakers to redraw its congressional district maps for 2024 in mid-December, and gave the IRC until Wednesday to propose such a plan.

The IRC’s proposal would have served as a blow to Republican Rep. Brandon Williams, who is running for his second term in the lower chamber, as it expanded his district to include more territory that favors Democrats. Democratic Rep. Pat Ryan’s seat would’ve also become more blue, while Republican Rep. Marc Molinaro’s district would’ve been stronger for the GOP.

“Instead of voting to approve fair maps approved by a bipartisan 9-1 vote of the [IRC], Albany Democrats are once again poised to create their own gerrymandered maps in another shameful power grab,” state Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt said in a statement following the vote. “It is once again painfully obvious that Albany Democrats don’t care about the millions of New Yorkers who demanded a fair and transparent redistricting process – they only care about their own political self-interests.”

Dave Wasserman, elections analysts for The Cook Political Report, described the rejection as “a big fork in the road.”

“The more aggressive their play, the bigger potential reward in seats, but the higher risk courts could step in again to block it or preserve the status quo,” Wasserman told The New York Times.

Several other states will or could have new congressional maps by November, including North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana and Florida.

Mary Lou Masters on February 26, 2024

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