The two Republican members of Albany County’s redistricting commission have submitted a proposal that they say would draw five majority-minority districts — as ordered by a federal judge — without changing any suburban districts. The plan — which was drafted by activist Aaron Mair, an expert witness against the county in the voting rights lawsuit the county lost last month — has voting age minority populations that range from 50.3% to 52.7% in districts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6. Keep in mind, Senior U.S. Judge Lawrence Kahn directed the county to create an additional, fifth majority-minority district based solely on residents who identified as black. Once Hispanic residents are included — something the plaintiffs argued in favor of in the lawsuit — the majorities are even larger.
… Twenty-nine of the county’s 39 total legislative districts would be untouched by the plan, according Legislator Christine Benedict of Colonie and Elections Commissioner Rachel Bledi, who represent the GOP on the seven-member redistricting panel. (That means 10 districts inside the city are impacted to a greater or lesser degree.)
The map would also not put any sitting legislators in each other’s districts, which the exception of Noelle Kinsch and Donald Rahm, but Kinsch is not running for re-election in her 6th Legislative District.
The county’s new political map is due to Kahn a week from today. Last week, the commission charged its mapping consultant and attorney to draft new lines, which have not yet been made public. A lawyer for the plaintiffs said their overtures to the commission have so far gone unanswered.