POUGHKEEPSIE – Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro announced that the County is seeking citizens to serve on the Dutchess County Independent Reapportionment Commission for the purposes of drawing legislative districts following the decennial federal census as required by the Dutchess County Charter. Interested residents can apply on the County website at DutchessNY.gov/DrawTheLines.
Reapportionment is the process of allocating seats in the County Legislature based on population and redistricting is the process of redrawing legislative district lines.
Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro said, “This independent group of civic minded citizens will be tasked with one of the most important responsibilities in our representative democracy. Not only will this ensure honest representation in the Dutchess County Legislature, but the district lines drawn here will also be the basis upon which the district boundaries for our representatives in all branches and levels of government are established. I’m encouraging anyone who wants to take a more active role in our democracy to apply for the Independent Reapportionment Commission.”
Last year, the Dutchess County Legislature adopted a local law that determined the redrawing of legislative districts would be done by an Independent Reapportionment Commission, detached from Legislative authority or influence to ensure equal and fair representation to the people of Dutchess County. This law will become effective after being approved by Dutchess County voters on Election Day, November 3rd. Voters should look for the Proposition #1 on the back of their ballot when they vote.
As part the reapportionment process, the County Executive is responsible for establishing a pool of applicants who are who are registered to vote in Dutchess County and represent the geographic and demographic diversity of the County. In addition, candidates must not currently be, nor have been for at least three years prior, elected officials, employees of New York State, Dutchess County, or any town, city, or village in the County, or members of any political committee.
The pool of applicants must be submitted to the County Legislature by January 2, 2021 for initial members of the Commission to be selected by the Legislature’s majority and minority leaders. A total of seven residents will serve on the Commission.
The full local law, including the power and duties of the Commission members, is available online at the Dutchess County website.
To apply, visit DutchessNY.gov/DrawTheLines. In addition, individuals can mail a written letter of application expressing interest in the Reapportionment Commission, including address, and affirming eligibility to serve, to: Dutchess County Executive’s Office, 22 Market Street, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601.