'Primer on Redistricting' to air on WCKN Feb. 21
Monday, February 21, 2011 - 6:25 am

A Primer on Redistricting will air on the program North Country Matters at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 21 and 22 on Clarkson University public access station WCKN, on cable channel 30.

St. Lawrence County League of Women Voters members Miles Manchester, Potsdam, and Sue Cypert, Canton discuss the issues surrounding the remapping of House of Representatives and state Senate and Assembly districts, using slides and information from the NYS League.

Reapportionment – deciding how many representatives to Congress each state will have – and redistricting – deciding which voters are represented by which legislative seats at the state and federal level – takes place every 10 years, following the federal census. It is already known that New York State will lose two seats in the next Congress.

In addition to redrawing the lines for the Senate and Assembly seats in New York State, the county will also have to look at redrawing the legislative district lines here in St. Lawrence County. How this is done and who makes these decisions is the focus of this series of voter education broadcasts.

Parts two and three will feature a discussion on the various ways to redistrict and on how the process is likely to work at the county level. Educating voters about their choices will be critical to getting a fair outcome in the public’s best interest, rather than in the politician’s.

Governor Cuomo has introduced legislation to create an independent commission to redraw the boundaries for Congressional and state legislative districts, promising to end the longstanding Albany practice of protecting incumbent lawmakers through creatively drawn districts. That will require passage in both houses of the legislature, meaning they would have to give up their right to draw the lines along partisan bases.

The decisions that are made now will affect the political climate at every level of government for the next 10 years.

In addition to viewing the broadcasts on WCKN, you can also watch the video series on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/danieledullea.

The series is sponsored and produced in cooperation with the St. Lawrence County League of Women Voters (LWV) and the SLC American Association of University Women (AAUW) in partnership the students in Clarkson University’s Comm. 310 and 427 with Dan Dullea. They and other groups partnered last fall to bring voters the Conversations With Candidates.