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Elections board OKs redistricting amendment language

Rochester Business Journal
August 1, 2014

The state Board of Elections on Friday approved language for a redistricting amendment in the November elections, with good-government advocates expressing disappointment in the result.

“This language is intended to be confusing and misleading, which is in direct violation of the statutory directive to offer a ‘concise’ explanation,” said Susan Lerner, executive director of Common Cause of New York, in a statement released by the organization.

“When they go to the polls in November, voters will unfortunately be subjected to another year of political manipulation.”

Changes were submitted by elections board member Andrew Spano, on behalf of Citizens Union and the League of Women Voters, Common Cause representatives said.

Spano was appointed to the board by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in April.

A phrase establishing the state Legislature as the default redistricting body if the redistricting commission’s plan is not legislatively enacted was removed because of the word “default,” the statement said.

The commission ignored Common Cause’s objections to describing the legislatively appointed commission as independent because eight of the appointments are made by legislative leaders and two appointments are made by legislative appointees.

Common Cause, the New York Public Interest Research Group, Effective NY and Make the Road New York say the language should be neutral and not slanted toward a yes or no vote.

(c) 2014 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email

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