Battle lines drawn over Nassau redistricting maps

A political battle is brewing between Republicans and Democrats over how to split up voting districts. (1/3/13)

HEMPSTEAD - A political battle is brewing between Nassau Republicans and Democrats over how to split up voting districts to reflect the latest census data.

Democrats argue that new redistricting maps proposed by Republicans have split up minority communities to give the GOP an unfair advantage in the Legislature.

Democrats claim that Republicans deliberately diluted heavily minority districts, like Uniondale and Westbury, to give themselves a leg-up. They also take issue with the part of the Republican map that splits up Great Neck and the Five Towns, putting three Democratic legislators in the same district.

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Republicans argue that their map is based on the changing population and claim that it doesn't factor in which elected official is currently representing each district. They say they instructed their consultants to "be blind to incumbency."

Democrats have come up with their own map, which they say takes changing population into account, but only moves a small percentage of voters into new districts.

The way that the maps are ultimately laid out may determine which party controls the county Legislature for years to come.

The public weighed in at a public hearing tonight at the legislative chambers in Mineola.

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