County Legislature approves weighted voting

Minority Leader Farley though disagrees weighted voting should be pursued.

"By doing the weighted voting you will diminish the ability of minorities to get represented the problem is it diminishes the ability to have a legitimate and representative voice on this body," said Farley. "To somehow suggest this process has been open or democratic " big D, small D, any D " is absurd."

Joanne Tobiessen, president of the League of Women Voters of Schenectady County, said the group is seeking a more democratic process for how the reapportionment is addressed.

"There are several ways to arrive at fair representation and we need to give adequate time for experts and the publics to consider these options and their consequences," said Tobiessen. "The position of the New York State League of Women Voters is that redistricting by a non-partisan commission is the best method by which to proceed when election districts population change."

Another member of the LWV, Maxine Borom, said it is important the public feels like their concerns have been addressed and considered.

"If you give ample time for any issues and it is not just this one if you do that then you show the public that you respect their input," said Borom. "The public needs to know that you respect their input and if you are voting on and soliciting input with the knowledge that 45 minutes later you are going to vote on the issue that doesn't speak well for respecting the process."

County Attorney Christopher Gardner drafted the proposed system after the census date was released, but the expeditious approach is due to County Charter. Once the census data is publicly released the County Legislature has 60 days to enact appropriate changes to balance voting power according to the charter.

"We really are under a time constraint that was imposed upon us from legislation that was passed 10 years ago," said Legislator Brian Gordon, D-Niskayuna. "It is important that everybody here understands that we were very cognizant as a body that the voter rights act is very important we have been consulted we are within voter rights legal limitations."

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