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Suffolk County redistricting commission remains deadlocked

Suffolk County Legislature
Suffolk County Legislature

Suffolk County’s redistricting commission is deadlocked after nearly a year of back and forth.

The once-every-ten-years process to redraw the county’s legislative districts is stymied over two competing maps — one favored by Republicans and one favored by Democrats.

A vote this week split the bipartisan commission down the middle, leaving both sides roughly where they were a year ago. Democrats controlled the legislature then and tried to ram through its favored redistricting map, but they were blocked by County Executive Steve Bellone. He said the maps wouldn’t be able to survive legal challenges.

Both of the proposed maps currently under consideration have four of the 18 legislative districts with a majority of non-white residents.

The commission has until Sept. 30 to reach an agreement. If they can’t, the Republican-controlled legislature will approve its favored maps subject to a possible veto from Bellone.

Charles is senior reporter focusing on special projects. He has won numerous awards including an IRE award, three SPJ Public Service Awards, and a National Murrow. He was also a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists and Third Coast Director’s Choice Award.