Colby Hamilton, Writer, WNYC News
Colby Hamilton is a general assignment reporter. He originally joined WNYC as a political blogger. He's a proud graduate of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.
NYPIRG's Bill Mahoney has already whipped up an analysis of the new legislative lines. He choose district population variation--the amount each district is from the ideal average based on the total population--as the "yardstick" to measure how representative the districts are. A big concern for gerrymandering is the spread between the districts that are under and over populated.
Packing people (a high positive deviation) into districts in one place can allow you to under populate (a high negative deviation) other districts, allowing for more districts in partisanly-friendly areas--something both the Assembly and Senate have done in the past.
"The typical deviation from the ideal population is one of the few completely objective criteria that can be used," Mahoney writes in an email. "While judging this set of proposed maps by this yardstick, the Senate’s maps are clearly the most gerrymandered lines in recent New York history."
Here's his breakdown on the Senate side:
Senate: Districts 3% or further from ideal population:
He also took a look at how the lines would far based on the 1 percent variation Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed in his independent redistricting legislation last year:
1984: 44 out of 61
1992: 47 out of 61
2002: 11 out of 62
2012: 3 out of 63
On the Assembly side Mahoney notes that, by this measurement, the Assembly districts actually sees things improving slightly since the last redistricting:
Assembly: Districts 3% or further from ideal population:
Assembly: Districts within 1% of ideal population: