This page provides information on the 2022 redistricting process undertaken by the Sullivan County Legislature. Three maps were considered, with one (Option 3) chosen on August 18, 2022. Scroll down to see the maps.
What Is Redistricting?
Sullivan County legislators represent individual districts, as required by the County Charter. Those nine districts – one for each of the nine legislators – must by State law encompass an approximately equal percentage of the County’s overall population, as determined by the most recent Census. Thus every 10 years, after the U.S. Census figures are released, the Legislature must reorganize its districts so that legislators are each representing approximately one-ninth of the County’s population. This process is called redistricting.
Why Was Redistricting Undertaken?
The 2020 U.S. Census figures were released in late 2021 and are needed to accurately determine how many people are in each of the existing districts and how the populations of the districts compare with one another. All nine legislative seats are up for election in November 2023, and both the public and potential legislative candidates need to know the boundaries of the new districts well before that election. Thus it was the Legislature’s intent to finish the redistricting process in 2022.
What Are the Steps in the Redistricting Process?
The first five steps have been completed at this time.
- U.S. Census figures are released.
- Legislators resolve to retain an independent consultant to research those numbers.
- The consultant presents three maps for the Legislature’s consideration.
- The public and legislators are given approximately one month to offer comment, ask questions and suggest changes.
- Legislators vote to select which map will become the official district map, with the selected map being the first one to receive the required five-vote majority.
- The chosen map will become official on January 1, 2024. The new map will be publicly available for reference, but the pre-existing districts will continue to be represented by the current legislators until December 31, 2023.
- Voters will elect legislators in November 2023 to represent each of the newly designated districts.
- Candidates who win a seat on the Sullivan County Legislature during the November 2023 election will begin representing their new districts on January 1, 2024.
When and How Was the Public Able to Participate?
The three maps presented to the Legislature have been available for public review since June 22, 2022. The Legislature accepted oral and written comment up until August 18, 2022. A public hearing on redistricting was held on August 11 at the Government Center.
What Is the Current Population of Sullivan County?
According to the 2020 U.S. Census, Sullivan County’s population stood at 78,624.
How Many People Does Each District Have to Cover?
Each of the nine legislative districts must encompass approximately 8,627 residents. The legally permissible deviation between the most populous and the least populous districts is 5%.
What Protections Were Taken to Avoid Gerrymandering?
The consultant was instructed by the Legislature to only have contact with the County Manager and Director of Real Property Tax Services (who oversees tax mapping for the County) until such time as the maps were presented for review. Additionally, politically-related demographic data, like how many Republicans and Democrats are in a particular area, was not considered by the consultant in developing any of the three maps.
Does This Impact Other Elected Positions?
No. This process only affects Sullivan County legislative districts. Other County elected officials – like the Sheriff, District Attorney, Clerk, Treasurer and Coroners – represent the entire County, regardless of its current population size. State and Congressional districts undergo their own redistricting procedure, completely separate from the County Legislature’s process.
Option #3 (CHOSEN BY MAJORITY VOTE OF THE LEGISLATURE ON AUGUST 18, 2022)
Existing (2022-2023) Legislative Districts
Click HERE to view the current legislative districts.