WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — Jefferson County may be split up into two congressional districts based on newly proposed redistricting maps.
These maps were released on January 30, after lawmakers proposed lines that could bring significant changes to upstate representation. A commission was first tasked with drawing these lines but did not come to an agreement.
These changes could bring changes to the North Country, especially Jefferson County. Previously all of Jefferson County was included in District 21, which Congresswoman Elise Stefanik represented.
However, the proposed Congressional District 21 draws the line outside the City of Watertown, making the majority of Jefferson County in Congressional District 24. This includes the entire Fort Drum military base.
Other towns includes in the proposed 24th District include Theresa, Alexandira, Orleans, Clayton, Cape Vincent, Lyme, Brownville, Hounsfield, Henderson, Ellisburg, Lorraine, Worth, Rodman, Adams, Brownville, Pamelia and Le Ray.
District 21 would then include all of St. Lawrence and Lewis counties, as well as Franklin, Clinton, Essex, Hamilton, Warren, Fulton, Herkimer, and some of Oswego, Oneida, Montgomery, Schoharie, Washington, Saratoga and Rensselaer counties.
In a previous report, Executive Director of New York Public Interest Research Group, Blair Horner said that in part, the maps reflect population shifts in the state.
“Upstate New York lost population, so those districts had to get geographically bigger to capture more people,” Horner said, “and since the state was losing a congressional seat, the districts had to get bigger still.”
All proposed Congressional maps are listed on the NYS Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reaaportionament website.