By: Stephanie Perry
State of Elections blog posts are written by William & Mary law students who have opted into studying election law in all its nuances. We sweat the difference between a racial gerrymander and a political gerrymander, the distinction between an expenditure and a campaign contribution. That said, this blog writer was genuinely confused on the first (and second and third) read by the language and content of Ballot Proposal 1 that appeared on ballots across New York state on November 2, 2021. “Amending the Apportionment and Redistricting Process” is the title of Proposal 1. There are tough topics in an Election Law class, but I had hoped the framers of the ballot question would boil it down to its simplest terms for an audience with lesser election law literacy than a second-year law student.
This was not the case. Instead, the ballot question reads: “This proposed constitutional amendment would freeze the number of state senators at 63, amend the process for the counting of the state’s population, delete certain provisions that violate the United States Constitution, repeal, and amend certain requirements for the appointment of the co-executive directors of the redistricting commission and amend the manner of drawing district lines for congressional and state legislative offices. Shall the proposed amendment be approved?”