The final version of New York City's revampe district maps have made their way to the U.S. Department of Justice, which has a little under two months to evaluate their compliance with the Voting Rights Act.
Despite some uproar from some local groups, the maps were finalized by the city’s Districting Commission in February and passed through the City Council in March without a vote.
The DOJ now has until May 24 to make sure that the maps don’t impair voter accessibility and protections for minority voters in Manhattan, Bronx and Brooklyn, all of which are protected under Section 5 of 1965’s VRA.
The public can make comments during the 60-day evaluation period. Barring any violations of the VRA, the federal government's approval would mean the new maps would go into effect before the upcoming primary, which is expected to take place in September.
The Districting Commission already held three rounds of public hearings in each borough and heard testimony from more 300 New Yorkers before voting to approve the maps in February by a vote of 14 to 1....