The Nassau County Board of Elections has found numerous errors with the new legislative district lines, one of its commissioners wrote in a letter to members of the Legislature.
“As you know, it is the responsibility of the Board of Elections to implement any redistricting plan,” William Biamonte, Democratic Commissioner of the BOE, wrote in a letter dated June 13. “The board must begin by precisely mapping the new legislative districts according to the legal description — the metes and bounds — contained in the redistricting legislation.”
“As you can imagine, the foregoing is a lengthy process even when no problems are encountered,” he goes on to write.
The errors include streets that were used to border the new districts that the BOE say don’t exist, streets that are in the wrong location of where the legislation says they are and streets that are said to intersect that don’t. It is unclear whether these errors will ultimately cause a delay in implementing the new district lines, which were approved by the legislature last month. Biamonte goes on to say that after the lines are finalized, the districts have to be entered in the voter registration system and voters have to be notified.
“You should be aware that it does not appear at this point that those steps can be completed within the timeframe set by state law,” Biamonte wrote, “and that continued attempts to do so can serve only to infringe upon the rights of the electorate. We are bringing the new map errors to your attention now so that you can take whatever action you deem appropriate.”
The lines are the current law of the county and are in effect, according to the office of the majority. Responding to an inquiry about the letter, Presiding Officer Peter Schmitt, R-Massapequa, said, “I’ve referred it to the county attorney for review and comment.”
Meanwhile, Minority Leader Diane Yatauro, D-Glen Cove, used the letter to further the Democrats’ argument that the redistricting process was rushed and should not be allowed. “Redistricting is a complex and time consuming project that requires public input, careful analysis to ensure minority voting rights are not violated, and the concentrated effort of election board staff to actually perform the required tasks to do redistricting properly,” she said in a statement. “Redistricting needs sufficient time to ensure that it is done correctly, legally and fairly.”