New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said his office is exploring whether it can contest a U.S. Census Bureau tally that found the state would lose a congressional seat after coming in 89 residents short of the cutoff.
“Do I think it was accurate to within 89? No, and we’re looking at legal options,” Cuomo said at a press conference Tuesday.
Census Bureau figures released Monday found the state missed a threshold for keeping all its 27 seats in the House of Representatives starting in 2022. New York joined California and other Democratic-led states that will lose a seat, while Texas and other Republican-led ones in the South and Southwest gain seats.
In a news release, Cuomo said he would ask Attorney General Letitia James to explore avenues of legal relief.
At the press briefing, Cuomo shifted blame onto former President Donald Trump’s administration, which tried unsuccessfully to add a question on citizenship status to the form.
“You had people who were nervous to come forward,” Cuomo said. “I do believe the federal government had a chilling effect.”
The state can sue, but historically that hasn’t been an easy route. Utah did so after the 2000 census but was unsuccessful.
New York state has lost at least two congressional seats every census, or each decade, since the 1940s.
The state lost five districts in 1980, three in 1990 and two districts each in 2000 and 2010.