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Judge Says Redistricting Proposal Cannot be Described on Ballot as Independent

A judge has ruled that the wording on a November ballot item making changes to New York‘s redistricting process is  biased, and must be altered before Election Day.

The Supreme Court judge ruled that language describing a new board created to oversee redistricting in New York as “independent”, is misleading and must be struck from the amendment’s description. “The commission cannot be described as independent when eight of the ten members are the hand picked appointees of legislative leaders”, and two are “essentially political appointees by proxy”, wrote Judge Patrick McGrath.   

Susan Lerner is with Common Cause, one of the groups that brought the lawsuit, says it’s a “victory”.

“This is a validation from an objective observer,” said Lerner, who said the commission “simply is not independent”.   

Lerner says the ruling bolsters the argument that the group has been making, that the changes are “fake reform”and that voters should reject the amendment.  Other groups, including the League of Women Voters, continue to back the proposal.