Stories

Between the lines

Shifting Assembly and Senate districts sow confusion for primaries

The city’s official map shows current legislative district lines — not the districts candidates are running in.

The polls are about to open for primary day, but the city’s official online map, known as NYCityMap, is not quite ready for the assignment. Until this afternoon, voters who tried to look up state Assembly and Senate districts via the New York City Campaign Finance Board’ “NYC Votes!” map were directed to NYCityMap – and district lines that apply to current members, but not to candidates on the ballot tomorrow and in November.

Tomorrow’s elections are the first to use new district lines developed in a redistricting process tied to the 2010 census, and approved earlier this year by the state legislature. The city’s map, which is maintained by the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DOITT), still uses the old district lines – the ones that define the districts served by members currently in office.

The use of the old district lines tripped up the city’s Campaign Finance Board and Gotham Gazette, both of which linked to the city’s maps in their voter guides. Gotham Gazette has since relinked to maps made available by the Center for Urban Research, and the Campaign Finance Board has done the same. The maps on the Center for Urban Research website were developed by Steve Romalewski in partnership with The New York World earlier this year.

Its unclear if the missing information from the city’s maps will cause voter confusion. A spokesperson for the Campaign Finance Board noted that the agency’s voter guide links to The Board of Elections’ poll site locator, which allows voters to find the address of their poling place.

According to DOITT spokesperson Nick Sbordone, updating the city’s map is a complicated process.  “There’s additional work that has to be done once we get the data,” said Sbordone, noting that DOITT has to integrate the new legislative boundaries with other data in order to maintain the map’s interactive functions.  “It takes some programming work.”  Sbordone said the map will be updated by the end of the week.