Voters sue over Town of Hempstead redistricting

Residents are suing over a new redistricting map adopted by the Hempstead Town Board that they call unfair to minority voters.

Residents are suing over a new redistricting map adopted by the Hempstead Town Board that they call unfair to minority voters. (4/30/13)

HEMPSTEAD - Angry voters say newly adopted council lines in the Town of Hempstead are dividing the community and diluting votes.

Residents are suing over a new redistricting map adopted by the Hempstead Town Board that they call unfair to minority voters.

According to the 2010 census, white voters within the Town of Hempstead decreased by more than 12.5 percent, African-American voters increased by nearly 11 percent and Hispanic voters jumped by 52.5 percent. But the new map still contains only one district where minority voters are in the majority.

Attorney Larry Carlton says the newly drawn map combines the community of Elmont with Garden City. While Elmont's voting population is 70 percent minority, Carlton says Garden City's is 93 percent white.

A spokesman for the Town of Hempstead says he can't comment specifically on the lawsuit, but said in a statement: "The new district lines meet all legal requirements of the Constitution of the United States, the State of New York Constitution and the Federal Voting Rights Act."

The case will be in federal court May 14.

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