Looking at Florida’s new congressional map ahead of the midterm elections

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TAMPA, Fla. — It took a second for the Florida legislature to do what decades of court orders, lawsuits and amendments have tried to stop: draw voting cards with the intent of favoring a party Politics.

At the center of the controversy is District 5, which stretches from Jacksonville along the begging. It is a space where black communities have elected black leaders to represent them. But according to the new map, District 5 is now divided into four districts and drawn in such a way that the black vote is now clearly in the minority.

This map was drawn by Governor DeSantis and approved by the Republican Legislature, and the impacts go way beyond begging. The Governor’s plan wipes out half of the state’s majority black congressional districts.

DeSantis defended the new boundaries, arguing that the old map unfairly guaranteed a black-dominated neighborhood.

Political analysts have said the purpose of redistricting is to help your party, regardless of whether you are a red or blue state.

“Almost always these days when you redraw it, you draw it in a way that makes your party look better,” said ABC News political director Rick Klein. “In states where lawmakers have that power, we’ve seen them press that advantage. Democrats did it. Republicans did it. It’s hard to judge who’s been worse, it depends on the state and year.”

But if politics is supposed to be the art of compromise, then electoral districting has become the science of demography. It’s not just Florida or Republicans doing it.

“We saw in New York a very aggressive Democratic effort going so far that the court threw it out and ended up backfiring on the Democrats,” Klein said. “We’ve seen Democrats take advantage of it in Illinois. We’ve seen Republicans try to take advantage of places where they control the legislature but not necessarily the governorship. They’ve seen it in North Carolina, Tennessee .”

The practice of drawing voter boundaries, called “gerrymandering,” is almost as old as the country itself. In fact, it was named after the governor of Massachusetts in 1812.

But in 2022, a time of so much political division, Governor DeSantis’ power play in Florida could pay off far beyond state lines.

“As you know, there’s a lot of skepticism in the Legislature about going as far as DeSantis, but they did it even if it ended up being rejected in a future cycle,” Klein said. a lot, and it may be the gains Democrats have had elsewhere in the country that have been wiped out. »

The maps are in effect for this year’s midterms, but are being challenged in court.

The League of Women Voters of Florida is among the groups suing DeSantis and the state to stop the cards, arguing they violate the law and are unconstitutional. The legal outcome will not be determined until long after the election is over.

“It would be an interesting theory if they tried to appeal to the federal system and to the Supreme Court of the United States,” League of Women Voters of Florida President Cecile Scoon said. court, then the appeal would go through the state court system.”

“At the end of the day, elections have consequences… Republicans run the legislature and they’re going to get their cards,” said Strategic Image Management founder Anthony Pedicini.

Meanwhile, before the trial moves forward, the final legal fight is over who will be allowed evidence and who will be allowed to testify.

The DeSantis administration is trying to block the release of the documents requested by the plaintiffs. This could shed light on how the maps were drawn and whether they violated the law.

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