TRENTON, N.J. – New Jersey Democrats are making moves this week which, if successful, would keep the current legislative district map in place until 2023 and guarantee a Democrat legislative majority until at least January 2024.
First reported on Monday by New Jersey Globe, Democrats are reportedly prepping a constitutional amendment to permit legislators to run on the current map in 2021. An election with the new districts wouldn’t occur until 2023 assuming the COVID-19 delayed census numbers fail to be finalized by February 15th, a virtual certainty according to current Trump Administration estimates.
Republicans say it’s a transparent power grab to protect the Democrat majority.
“Never let a good crisis go to waste,” GOP redistricting chairman Al Barlas told Save Jersey on Monday. “In 2001, we got the numbers on March 8th and we still got a map.”
Barlas says the current numbers suggest the Democrats’ concerns are unwarranted. To date, he notes, officials are seeing a 64% New Jersey response rate to the census.
In 2010, response rate was 74%.
In 2000? 76%.
“Why stop there? Why not constitutionally mandate that you’ll be in the majority? At some point, ‘one man one vote’ has to mean something,” Barlas added.