NY Elections, Census and Redistricting Update 07/01/24



Orange County Legislature Fails to Advance New Map

The Orange County Legislature failed to advance three county legislative draft maps to the public hearing stage after a meeting on July 26th lost its quorum of legislators necessary to move the maps to the next stage.  The county needs to have a new map in place before petitioning for the 2025 primary gets underway next year.


NYC Charter Revision Commission Preliminary Report Details Updates on Local Election Reforms

In 2019, New York City residents voted to conduct local elections by ranked-choice voting (RCV). RCV allows for voters to rank up to five candidates in order of preference. If a candidate receives the majority of first-choice votes, that candidate wins. If there is no majority of first-choice votes, the candidate who received the fewest first-choice votes is eliminated, and the voters who marked that candidate as their first choice have their votes transferred to the next choice. The process is repeated until there are two candidates left, and the candidate who has the most votes wins.

RCV was instituted in the 2021 primary elections, which had a voter turnout of 26.5%. The majority of voters (88.3%) ranked more than one candidate in at least one race. A higher percentage of Democrats (89.3%) than Republicans (56.6%) ranked multiple candidates in at least one race. Following the 2021 election cycle, the Commission reported multiple benefits to the new system. RCV elections are less expensive to conduct because the system eliminates the need to conduct run-off elections. Furthermore, RCV allows for voters to “vote their true preferences” rather than casting strategic votes and helps eliminate vote splitting.

In a preliminary report, the Commission highlighted two potential election-related reforms to be considered for the future: open primaries and nonpartisan elections. Both reforms would reduce the importance of voters’ party affiliations during primary elections. An open primary would allow voters to choose to vote in any party’s primary regardless of party registration. Nonpartisan elections have all candidates compete amongst each other, therefore eliminating primary elections. New York City currently uses this system for special elections.

The Commission’s staff recommended deferring both proposals to a future commission for further study and consideration.


U.S. Census Bureau Releases 2023 Population Estimates, Shows Changes in Race and Ethnicity in New York

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s newly released Vintage 2023 Population Estimates, the Hispanic population accounted for almost 71% of overall population growth in the United States and was driven primarily by birth. With this growth, the Hispanic population (of any race) now comprises 19.5%, or almost one-fifth, of the 2023 U.S. population. This growth makes Hispanics the second largest group in the U.S. after the non-Hispanic White population.

The four states with the largest Hispanic populations (in order) were California, Texas, Florida, and New York. Texas, Florida, and California also had the largest numeric increases in Hispanic populations between 2022 and 2023. New York was the only state whose Hispanic population decreased (0.1%). Additionally, the states with the largest non-Hispanic Asian populations in 2023 (in order) were California, New York, and Texas.

The Vintage 2023 Population Estimates included many demographics. For all U.S. metro areas, New York/Newark/Jersey City (NY-NJ) had the largest non-Hispanic White population, despite decreasing by -0.9% from 2022. The second largest non-Hispanic white population was Chicago/Naperville/Elgin (IL-IN), and the third was Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington (PA-NJ-DE-MD).

New York/Newark/Jersey City had the largest non-Hispanic Black population for a U.S. metro area in 2023, despite also having “the largest single-year loss” in Black residents. This metro area also had the largest non-Hispanic Asian population in 2023. New York/Newark/Jersey City was also the U.S. metro area with the largest “Two or More Races” population in 2023.

New York is Losing its ChildrenSocial Explorer Releases Analysis on Population Estimates

According to Social Explorer, a data research company that analyzed the new census population estimates headed by Dr. Andrew Beveridge, the population of people under 20 in New York City dropped by 9% (more than 186,000 people) between 2020 and 2023. This is the largest decrease in NYC’s under-20 population in more than a decade.

Since 2010 or earlier, this age group has been consistently shrinking while older populations have increased. All five boroughs’ under-20 population decreased in the last three years: (1) the Bronx lost 41,000; (2) Brooklyn lost 66,000; (3) Manhattan lost 22,000; (4) Staten Island lost almost 4,000; and (5) Queens lost the most young residents at 53,000. The suburbs surrounding New York City were also not immune: Long Island lost nearly 18,000 under-20 residents and New Jersey suburbs lost almost 40,000. The most substantial decrease was in children under 5 years old, which fell by 17% (more than 92,000 people) between 2020 and 2023.

This drop may have a long-term affect NYC’s workforce and economy. It also may affect NYC’s current education policies and the public school system. The city’s public school system has already shrunk to approximately 915,000 students, as compared to 1.1 million a decade ago. According to Education Department data, nearly 58,000 students left the public school system in the 2021-2022 school year to “attend schools outside the city.” This decrease of students in a singular school year is the largest in more than 10 years.

According to the New York Times, many families with children, including many Black families, have recently moved out of New York City due to increasing concerns, such as a shortage of affordable housing, the quality of schools, crime, the desire for more open spaces and a green environment, and so forth. The data analysis revealed that many Black families moved to the South, while children in poverty were more likely to move to Pennsylvania and Asian students were more likely to move to Long Island.

Dr. Andrew Beveridge stated that New York City’s decline in under-20 residents is likely to be partly offset by more than 200,000 migrants, including many families with children, who have moved to the city since the spring of 2022.

Data Shows Decrease in Youth Population Across New York State Counties

Dr. Andrew Beveridge (Social Explorer) has shared a new data analysis regarding the population change for children between 0 and 4 years old and children between 5 and 19 years old. This data includes 14 counties across New York, as well as broader data about New York City and New York State as a whole.

The data shows a steady decrease in a majority of the 14 counties. For the 0-4 year old population, the largest decrease in percentage was New York County with -19%, or -14,966 people. The largest population decrease was Kings County with -33,058 people, or -17%. In total, New York City lost 92,104 people between 2020 and 2023. New York State lost 110,558, or -10%, of children between 0 and 4 years old.

The chart below demonstrates the population differences for children between the ages of 0 and 4.

Population of Children 0-4 Years Old 

New York State Counties

2020 Population

2023 Population

% Change From 2020 to 2023

Bronx County




Kings County




New York County




Queens County




Richmond County




Nassau County




Suffolk County




Dutchess County




Orange County




Putnam County




Rockland County




Sullivan County




Ulster County




Westchester Co.




New York State




In comparison to the 0-4 year old population, more counties experienced a decrease in the 5-19 year old population. New York City lost 94,488 people, or -6.48%. New York State’s 5-19 population decreased by 141,916 total, or -3.99%. Only 2 out of 14 counties increased its population: Rockland and Sullivan Counties. Bronx County experienced the largest decrease in percentage with -8.46%, or -25,400 people. The county with the largest loss was Kings County with -33,053 people, or -6.84%.

The chart below displays the population changes between 2020 and 2023 for individuals between 5 and 19 years old.

Population of Children 5-19 Years Old

New York Counties

2020 Population

2023 Population

% Change From 2020 to 2023

Bronx County




Kings County




New York County




Queens County




Richmond County




Nassau County




Suffolk County




Dutchess County




Orange County




Putnam County




Rockland County




Sullivan County




Ulster County




Westchester Co.




New York State





U.S. House Proposed FY25 CJS Appropriations Bill Released


On June 25, House Republicans released their proposed Fiscal Year (FY) 2025 Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) appropriations bill, which funds the U.S. Census Bureau. The bill would provide the agency with $1.354 billion; an amount below Administration’s FY 2025 budget request ($1.6 billion) and the Census Bureau’s FY 2024 funding level ($1.382 billion). On June 26, the House CJS subcommittee met to consider the bill and suggest amendments. On July 9, the House Appropriations Committee will consider the bill.

The CJS bill includes multiple sections on the Census and redistricting issues, including:

  1. Section 559: Prohibits the United States Census Bureau from using funds made available by this Act or any other Act to include aliens who are unlawfully present in the United States in subsequent decennial census apportionment determinations. The effort to exclude undocumented persons from the 2020 census failed after the U.S. Supreme Court found that the Trump Administration’s efforts to do so violated federal administrative rules.
  2. Section 560: Prohibits the use of funds made available by this Act to pay any settlements related to civil actions brought by “illegal aliens” against the United States.
  3. Section 582: Prohibits the use of funds made available by this Act or any other Act to sue a state or local government over its redistricting plans. This provision would prevent the Justice Department from bringing challenges against state maps for voting rights and equal protection violations.
  4. Section 621: Prohibits the use of funds made available by this Act to enforce involuntary compliance, or to inquire more than twice for voluntary compliance with any survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Census Data & Distribution of Federal Funds to States

The Project on Government Oversight (POGO) and Census Counts examined how states utilize census data to advocate for increased census participation and state-level funding. Census data determines how approximately $1.5 trillion in federal resources are distributed annually. Inaccurate census data can lead to the misallocation of federal funds. Communities can lose millions of dollars because of an undercount or overcount of specific populations. According to the Texas Census Institute, the annual funding implications amounted to approximately $2.5 billion for Texas alone.

The Maryland Center on Economic Policy (MDCEP) advocated that a racial/ethnic equity analysis should be built into the annual budget process. As a case study, MDCEP conducted a racial equity analysis of Medicaid-funded home- and community-based services. MDCEP found three core issues. First, the workforce shortage undermines access to care, which will worsen with an aging population.

Second, low wages are a direct equity issue. Low wages undermine recruitment and retention. Low wages are also directly affected by the independent contractor classification, which currently affects 22% of workers within MDCEP’s dataset. Third, there is extremely sparse data relating to the demographics of consumers and wait-list registrants, as well as the demographics of workers, the number of workers, and wages. There is also little data to determine the agency cost structure, and data on informal caregivers is almost nonexistent. MDCEP recommends raising wage standards, improving data collection, and prohibiting misclassifications.

The Power of Data Disaggregation in AANHPI Communities

On May 1, the U.S. Chief Statistician asked for “use cases” of how disaggregated data is used to serve AANHPI (Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander) communities. AAPI Data held a webinar to present insight from community leaders on the effect of this data and to discuss efforts to improve data collection. The insight provided, or “use cases,” will be submitted to the federal government.

A landmark policy, Statistical Policy Directive No. 15, is a “win” for AANHPI communities. SPD-15 combined the race and ethnicity question and added the Middle Eastern or North African category on the Census. SPD-15 required data collection for Chinese, Asian Indian, Filipino, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, and “Another group (for example, Pakistani, Hmong, Afghan, etc.)” SPD-15 also required data collection for Native Hawaiian, Samoan, Chamorro, Tongan, Fijian, Marshallese, and “Another group (for example, Chuukese, Palauan, Tahitian, etc.).”

The webinar examined the gaps in SPD-15. There is still no inventory or baseline database for all federal agency data collections and the extent to which they provide disaggregated data. There is no mechanism for community input or expertise, including from researchers who work on data equity matters. There is no clear guidance or process for agency waivers to opt out of collecting detailed race and ethnicity data, or to use an “Other Asian” write-in category instead of an “Other Asian” checkbox.

The webinar also explained AAPI Data’s new AANHPI Community Data Explorer tool, which is designed to “empower data-driven insights” on AANHPI communities. For example, this tool provides lawmakers with data to address the needs and assets of their constituents.


NYC Voter Assistance Advisory Committee Hearing On July 10th

From The NYC Campaign Finance Board’s Voter Assistance Advisory Committee (VAAC),

“The VAAC will hold a post-election hearing on Wednesday, July 10th from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. ET to hear from voters about their experiences voting in and throughout the 2024 primaries. Potential topics include the following questions:

  • Were you able to find the information you needed to engage and vote in the 2024 elections?
  • Did your poll-site change, or did you experience any accessibility related issues voting?
  • Did you vote in-person or by absentee ballot?
  • If you voted by absentee, how was your experience?

This will be a virtual event conducted remotely via Zoom. Members of the public are encouraged to register in advance. If you’d like to deliver spoken testimony or submit written testimony, please fill out the form included in the Zoom confirmation email.

The Voter Assistance Advisory Committee consists of nine members who advise the Campaign Finance Board and its nonpartisan voter engagement initiative, NYC Votes. In addition to hosting post-election hearings, the committee recommends legislative and administrative changes to improve elections in New York City.”


ARKANSAS:  The Arkansas NAACP has decided not to seek review by the U.S. Supreme court of the 8th Circuit’s decision affirming a lower court decision that held that only the U.S. Attorney General can bring Section 2 voting rights act challenges before the federal courts (and that there is no private right of action). Until another similar case is appealed to the Supreme Court, no private litigant can bring a Section 2 VRA challenge in the states covered by the circuit.

LOUISIANA: The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has denied a request for a hearing on the issue of whether individuals and groups can sue under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. A federal district court previously struck down Louisiana’s electoral districts for violating Section 2, but voters still do not have new legislative maps. Louisiana officials had been waiting for the 5th Circuit decision on the requested hearing. The state is appealing the federal district court’s decision, but the 5th Circuit will not review the case.

In April, Louisiana officials filed a petition for a 5th Circuit hearing after the 8th Circuit ruled in a separate case that private parties could no longer bring lawsuits under Section 2. Louisiana officials were seeking the same conclusion, which would have jeopardized the plaintiffs’ standing in this case, as well as in other redistricting cases in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas, all covered by the 5th Circuit.

Without this hearing, and since the Legislature missed the deadline provided by the federal district court to pass a VRA-compliant map, the court will grant the plaintiffs’ motion to have the court schedule deadlines for remedial proceedings.

The N.Y. Elections, Census & Redistricting Institute is supported by grants from the New York Community Trust, New York Census Equity Fund, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the New York City Council. This report was prepared by Jeff Wice, Alexis Marking & Isabella Van Der Meulen.


The New York Census and Redistricting Institute has archived many resources for the public to view on our Digital Commons Page.

Our Redistricting Resources page contains resources on the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act. You can access the page
here: https://digitalcommons.nyls.edu/redistricting_resources/

Archived Roundtable Updates can be accessed
here: https://digitalcommons.nyls.edu/redistricting_roundtable_updates/

Please share this weekly update with your colleagues. To be added to the mailing list, please contact Jeffrey.wice@nyls.edu.




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