New maps give county Dems a 15-4 advantage over GOP in registered voters

New maps give county Dems a 15-4 advantage over GOP in registered voters
The newly-adopted Nassau County legislative district map. (Photo courtesy of the Nassau County Legislature)

Democratic enrollment outweighs Republicans in 15 of the 19 recently approved Nassau County legislative districts, a data analysis done by Blank Slate Media shows.

The Legislature voted 11-7 to adopt a map presented by the majority caucus on Feb. 27. Districts 1-7, 9-11, 13, 14, 16-18 all had more registered Democratic voters in 2022 than Republicans, according to data obtained by Blank Slate Media.

The map was last redrawn in 2013. Democratic officials have chastised Republicans for their lack of transparency in developing the 2023 map. They contend that the Republican map allows officials to select their representatives rather than the public.

Nassau’s electoral district maps are redrawn every 10 years based on the federal census to redraw boundaries that reflect population changes.

The analysis also showed that President Joe Biden would have received more votes in 14 of the 19 legislative districts adopted by the Legislature on Feb. 27, despite winning in nine of the districts under the current map adopted in 2013. The recently approved 7th District is the only one with more registered Democrats that Biden would not have won.

Demographics and party enrollment data, officials said, was compiled by the City University of New York. Data from the 2020 presidential election, officials said, was published by the Harvard Dataverse.

Though Biden would have won more districts under the recently approved map, former President Donald Trump’s vote share would have increased in 10 districts in the new format.

More than 366,000 Nassau residents were registered Democrats as of 2022, compared to 281,000 Republicans, according to the data. The 19 legislative districts average 19,294 Democrats and 14,800 Republicans.

More than 238,000 Nassau residents are not registered to a specific party, an average of 12,575 per district, according to the data. Each district also averages 2,147 residents enrolled as Conservatives, Working Families Party members or another affiliation.

Detailed data from the 2020 U.S. census showed that Nassau County’s white, non-Hispanic population decreased by nearly 10 percent, while its Asian American population increased by more than 4 percent.

The Hispanic or Latino population rose by more than 31 percent, growing from 14.6 percent in 2010 to 18.4 percent in 2020. While data showed that Nassau’s Black population remained at 10.5 percent over the decade, it did increase by 4.2 percent.

The 6th District, under the newly adopted map, becomes the county’s fifth minority district, according to the data. Prior to the approval, only Districts 1, 2, 3 and 5 had minority populations outweighing the white population, data showed.

Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams (D-Freeport) said there is likely no scenario in which the maps “will not be challenged in court,” following the adoption of the maps in February. 

“By passing this illegal map, the Republican Majority has recklessly placed Nassau County on a collision course towards numerous lawsuits that will ultimately cost taxpayers millions of dollars,” Abrahams said.

Efforts to reach Abrahams for further comment on the maps based on the data analysis were unavailing.

Daniel Schrafel, communications director for the minority caucus, said in a statement that using voting data from the 2020 presidential election to construct a new map is “particularly misleading.”

“Only apples-to-apples comparisons of performance should be used to judge the fairness of a map,” Schrafel said in a statement to Blank Slate Media. “When that standard is applied, the severity of the extreme partisan gerrymander that was adopted on Feb. 27 comes clearly into focus.”

Abrahams also bashed the GOP proposal for “diluting the voting power of minority communities across” Nassau County, including having an “Asian-American influence district.” The map, he said, goes against parts of the federal Voting Rights Act and the John. R. Lewis Voting Rights Act of New York.

The 1st District has an increased number of enrolled Republicans in the new map as opposed to the current map, but still has more than 21,000 Democrats compared to 10,000 Republicans, according to the data.

Nicolello said that having a “perfect” redistricting process is an “impossible” task and touted the fairness of the newly-drawn districts.

“This map is a fair map, it provides equal representation for all our residents and protects community interests as much as possible,” Nicolello said following the adoption.

Nicolello also said the Legislature did everything in its power to follow the federal and state requirements when drawing the lines.

“This map is not gerrymandered to favor Republicans,” Nicolello said.

Democratic county Legislator Arnold Drucker, in a statement last month, expressed his displeasure with the proposal that splits Plainview and redraws the lines in his district.

“The current proposal is an extreme partisan gerrymander that carves apart Plainview and other communities across the 16th Legislative District,” Drucker said. “This is not about the political fate of one person over another – it is much more significant. This is a brazen attempt to dilute and render irrelevant the voices of all Democrats residing in the 16th District and it must not stand.”

Legislator Josh Lafazan will be pushed into the 16th Legislative District, represented by Drucker, according to the map.

The villages of Roslyn, Roslyn Harbor and parts of Glenwood Landing are included in the 11th District, with Greenvale, East Hills and other parts of Glenwood Landing in the 18th District, Roslyn Estates in the 10th District and parts of Roslyn Heights in the 9th District, according to the new map.

Other changes to North Shore areas include the expansion of the 10th District into Munsey Park, Plandome and Plandome Manor.

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