In spite of a threatened lawsuit over newly redrawn legislative districts in Broome County, Executive Jason Garnar says he plans to sign the legislation when it reaches his desk.

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The legislature was scheduled to hold a special session January 18 for a delayed vote on the redistricting, held over by Democrat Mark Whalen last week.  While Whalen and others claim Republicans pushed through new lines that split the Town of Maine into three districts in order to boost chances of getting GOP candidates elected, fellow Democrat Garnar says he trusts the process and the lawyers who were involved along the way saying the redrawing of the districts was done legally.

Broome Count 2022 redistricting map Draft 3
Broome Count 2022 redistricting map Draft 3

An Ad-Hoc committee made up of election officials, politicians from both parties, representatives of community groups and business and members of the community worked for several months on the redrawing of the districts based on the data from the 2020 census and came up with five draft maps. The committee, in a split vote in December, settled on Draft Map number 3.

Whalen says while that map becomes the legal make-up of districts in 2023, it will be used in the next election.  The former Democratic leader of the Legislature says the blueprint will be challenged in the State Supreme Court.

Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News (file photo)
Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News (file photo)

Last week, Garnar told WNBF News he wasn’t surprised and no matter how the maps were redrawn, there were bound to be unhappy people and legal challenges.  The Executive says, however, the process was followed legally and he would sign the final version placed on his desk.

Garnar’s counterpart in Onondaga County, Executive Ryan McMahon last month vetoed that county’s new legislative map over the process that eliminated the county’s only district containing a majority of Black residents.

In Broome County, the legislature will be by special session at 5 p.m. January 18 to vote on the new district map. The public can view the meeting via zoom video conference at meeting ID: 844 4642 5887.

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