Take your pick: County redistricting maps available for Sullivan

Posted 7/6/22

MONTICELLO, NY — The word “redistricting” may evoke a sense of deja vu in New Yorkers who have just emerged from an extended cycle of state-wide reshuffling.

Any respite from …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Take your pick: County redistricting maps available for Sullivan


MONTICELLO, NY — The word “redistricting” may evoke a sense of deja vu in New Yorkers who have just emerged from an extended cycle of state-wide reshuffling.

Any respite from redistricting has proved an illusion. Sullivan County’s redistricting cycle is in full swing, and the county released a trio of possible maps to the public on June 22.

Sullivan’s electoral maps don’t affect most elections in the county, just Sullivan County Legislature elections. A legislator is elected from each of the county’s nine electoral districts.

The county has to reconfigure these districts following the population shifts demonstrated in the 2020 census. Each district has to contain an approximately equal number of people; the most and least populous districts can have at maximum a five-percent difference in the number of residents. For Sullivan County, that works out to around 8,627 people per district.

Redistricting is necessary to return Sullivan’s districts to equilibrium after its population has shifted and swelled.

“Due to significant increases in Sullivan County’s population centers, coupled with population decreases in our more rural areas, the larger legislative districts will need to grow in size, while the smaller legislative districts will need to shrink, generally speaking,” said county manager Joshua Potosek.

The work of reconstituting the county’s electoral maps to make those changes falls to independent hands.

The Sullivan County legislature hired Dave Heller of Main Street Communications (MSC) on April 7. MSC is a Democratic media firm and redistricting company with a redistricting track record dating back to 1995; the firm redrew Sullivan County’s maps in its previous redistricting cycle.

The legislature asked Heller for three different maps to consider. Heller fulfilled that request, and the county released the maps to the public on June 22.

The maps leave some of the Sullivan County’s electoral much the same. District 3 covers a similar swath of the county’s northern end in each of the options.

Other districts change more drastically, with each map presenting legislators with a significantly different choice.

These differences come largely from the different weight given to different variables; according to Heller, the methodology stays consistent between maps.

He attempted to minimize the number of districts in a single village or town, but there were different ways to do so, resulting in the three different maps. One map splits Monticello between districts while keeping Rock Hill intact; another splits Rock Hill while leaving Monticello whole. District 2 stretches well into Mamakating in one map, and well into Tusten in another.

The Sullivan County Legislature will decide which map it prefers on July 21, voting on each until one achieves a majority of five votes.

How do I get involved?

The three options for the county’s redistricted maps can be found online at sullivanny.us/Departments/Legislature/Redistricting.

The legislature will not hold a public hearing for comments on the map. It will accept comments in person at the Thursday legislature meetings on July 7, July 14 and July 21.

Written comments can be emailed to clerk of the legislature Annmarie Martin at Annmarie.Martin@sullivanny.us and sent by physical mail to 100 North St., Monticello, NY 12701.

For more on redistricting in Sullivan County, click the links below:

The legislature discusses redistricting.

The legislature signs its contract with Main Street Communications.

The legislature meets with MSC.

redistricting, Sullivan County, electoral maps, legislative maps


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here