Federal Appeals Court Upholds Albany County Election


ALBANY — A federal appeals court on Tuesday backed a lower court’s decision  not to halt last year’s County Legislature elections based on a lawsuit alleging  voting rights violations in the county’s redistricting plan.

The 31-page ruling by the U.S. 2nd Circuit  Court of Appeals appears to be a victory for the county’s controversial  plan, under which the current 39 legislators were elected in November.

But the attorney representing the three women alleging the maps violate the  federal Voting Rights Act contends the decision contains key provisions that  will only strengthen their case at trial — including that the federal courts  have the power to vacate last year’s elections and reboot the  whole process.

In the suit, the plaintiffs — now-former Legislator Wanda  Willingham, legislative candidate Janis  Gonzalez and a local NAACP  leader Anne  Pope — allege the county’s redistricting commission did not do everything it  could to create a fifth legislative district in the city that had a majority of  minority voters.

The case hinges on thorny issues such as who, in the eyes of voting rights  law, should count as “black” and whether the city’s fast-growing Hispanic  population should be included for the purposes of drawing district lines.

And the divergent interpretations of the appeals court’s findings are just  the latest wrinkle in the contentious process of redrawing the county’s  political map in line with the 2010 Census — a process that has twice before in  prior decades ended with the courts requiring the county increase the number of  minority districts.

Read more: http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/County-elections-stand-3593009.php#ixzz1wNuOCACz

About SquarePegDem

A former state legislator turned NY Post editorial board member, thought-leader, public affairs consultant and commentator, columnist and blogger. Michael has appeared on Al Jazeera America Tonight, NY1/Inside City Hall, FoxNews.com LIVE, YNN/Capital Tonight, The Brian Lehrer Show, The Fred Dicker Show, The Capitol Press Room, and The Daily Show. His op-eds have appeared in the NY Post, City and State, The Legislative Gazette, Bronx Times, The Troy Record, Buffalo News, and the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. To schedule speaking engagements, email MBenjamin9@optimum.net.
This entry was posted in African Americans, Elections, Politics, Public Policy, RAce Relations, Voting Rights and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Federal Appeals Court Upholds Albany County Election

  1. Deacon Vic Tosi says:

    Michael – found your description of the Albany County electoral situation interesting, to say the least. If “minorities are the majority.”… does that make for a specious argument in itself. I also am perplexed at the question of whether Hispanics qualify as part of the “minority” community.
    Funny, but at my church, we just think of the kids as “minors”.
    Sorry – could not resist replying on this one.
    (note: at my church meeting tonight I spoke about you and your dedication to life and welfare of our children, and I was asked if you would run for office again. My reply was “I certainly hope so” to which I was questioned “isn’t he a Democrat?” to which I replied “Yes, but first he is my friend”.

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  2. gold price says:

    You may contact the Voting Section at Voting.Section@usdoj.gov for general information concerning the Section’s activities or to make a complaint concerning a voting matter. You may also use this address to request Voting Section records under the Freedom of Information Act. If you are making such a request, the phrase “Records request” should appear in the subject line. If you are an official from a submitting authority, please click here . You may use email if you want to provide your views on a submission that is being reviewed. Please click here to learn more. If you are an official from a submitting authority and need to supplement your initial submission, please click here .

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