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Voter groups appeal newly drawn congressional map in latest redistricting challenge


The coalition of voter groups that originally challenged maps draw during redistricting efforts in 2012 said they will also apeal newly draw maps approved earlier this month by a Leon County circuit court.

Last week, Judge Terry Lewis upheld the revised congressional map that the Legislature approved during a three-day special session. Lewis said the new map corrected what he had determined were violations of the state's Fair District rules against gerrymandering. The new map updated boundaries for congressional seats currently held by U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Jacksonville, and U.S. Rep. Dan Webster, R-Winter Garden, along with adjoining districts.

Lewis ruled that the new map would go into effect for the 2016 election. Both Brown and Webster are running for re-election now under the old boundary lines.

The coalition that originally challenged that map said the new one doesn't fix the issues they've raised and have criticized Lewis' ruling. They said the changes the Legislature approved to districts 5 and 10 didn't go far enough to fix the political gerrymandering.

The voter groups have now asked the state's First District Court of Appeal to look into Lewis's rulings. The coalition, which includes the League of Women Voters of Florida, the NAACP and Common Cause, makes it clear their fight is focused on changing the maps again in time for the 2016 election.

The First DCA has twice ruled against the voters groups on redistricting appeals but the Florida Supreme Court has twice overturned those rulings.


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The sad thing is if the maps were drawn to favor candidates who typically support these groups, these very groups would be fighting to keep them in their favor.

Hope the next level recognizes these groups for the partisanship they represent.

Bill Thompson

Both sides are doing the same thing, trying to skew things in their favor. Hopefully, the judge follows the intent of the law.

ed jenkins

The citizens want this judge to throw out this nonsense which only interests a small group of cartographers and a group that claims to represent one entire sex of voters and has caused chaos and uncertainty with their elections while wasting resources paid for by money confiscated from them. They want these individuals prosecuted for their interference with government activities.

Christopher M. Kennard

The majority of citizens, Democrats, Republican and other non-partisan voters, all truly wish to have open, honest elections.

The chaos, uncertainty and wasted resources have been caused by the Republican Party operatives who have tried to corrupt our elections by gerrymandering the district boundaries . . . this year.

The Democrats have also done so in the past. Both political parties need to be removed from the process and an impartial, non partisan panel appointed to oversee this critically important aspect of protecting our political process underpinning our state elections.

It seems voters will have a new cause to pursue in the 2016 election cycle . . . a new Florida Constitutional Amendment regarding such an impartial panel to end this mess from continuing.

I will be one of those passing out citizen initiative ballots for such a constitutional amendment, just as we had to do to obtain our Fair Districts laws in 2010 and two Constitutional Amendments that seem certain to pass this year protecting our environment and for Medical Marijuana use by patients in need of better medical alternatives. (Constitutional Amendment #1 (Water and Land Conservation) and Constitutional Amendment # 2 (Use Of Medical Marijuana For Certain Medical Conditions).

Hope more folks come out to vote this time around; our primary elections had far too few people involved.

I always "double" my own personal impact upon elections in a positive fashion by bringing someone with me to go vote who may not otherwise have voted.

We have government of the people, by the people, for the people. It is a wonderful idea that only works when the voters come out and cast wise, well intended and well-considered votes to elect the best candidates we can who running for public office.

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