Today, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (“LDF”) submitted testimony to the New York State Independent Redistricting Committee urging the commission to ensure compliance with Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act and to urge the Commission to be especially vigilant in combatting racial vote dilution on Long Island. Even in Long Island counties with significant communities of color, voters of color are still significantly outnumbered by white voters and are at risk of being shut out of the political process unless districts are drawn in which voters of color have an equal opportunity to elect candidates of their choice. In the past, Long Island has been home to a number of lawsuits alleging racial vote dilution, several of which have resulted in court orders requiring local jurisdictions to alter election structures to address discrimination in elections. In light of these current and historical conditions, there is an enhanced risk of racial vote dilution on Long Island and it is critical that the Commission takes great care to ensure that Long Island’s voters of color are afforded an opportunity to elect candidates of their choice.
Read the full testimony here.
Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization. LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF. Follow LDF on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.