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Brookhaven town board could decide redistricting maps by Thursday

Town of Brookhaven

After weeks of criticism by voting rights advocates, Brookhaven residents will have a chance this Thursday to voice their concerns with redistricting maps drawn by the town’s Republican supervisor.

Brookhaven’s decennial redistricting committee failed to come to a consensus on how to redraw the town’s six council districts. Town Supervisor Ed Romaine redrew the maps himself, which caused alarm for the mostly Black and Hispanic hamlets of Gordon Heights, North Belport and Coram.

Romaine’s maps moved roughly 4,000 mostly white residents from Ridge into those neighborhoods. Critics said that Republicans were trying to “dilute” minority voters.

“No, we're not going to do that," Romaine said at a recent town board meeting. "Nor are we going to dilute that. And we have looked at that."

Advocates have telegraphed that they are planning legal challenges to those maps if they are approved. Romaine said he hopes to approve the maps quickly so that the court process doesn’t complicate next year’s election.

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.