August 23, 2014

Redistricting: Free-for-All in Florida

Here's what to expect during the 2012 Legislative redistricting process.

Cynthia Barnett | 3/1/2011

> BY THE NUMBERS

18,801,310 — Florida's population, according to the 2010 U.S. Census. The state is edging closer to being the third largest state in the country, trailing New York by fewer than 1 million residents.

27 —?New number of Florida congressional districts, up from 25. Both Florida and New York will have 27 representatives in Congress — and both will have 29 Electoral College votes, increasing Florida's importance in presidential elections through 2020.

Redistricting in Florida
[Illustration: Roger Chouinard]
696,345 — Number of people in each congressional district. The federal courts have interpreted the one-man, one-vote provisions of the Voting Rights Act so strictly that Florida lawmakers must create each district with almost precisely that number of people —?each district is supposed to have no more than one person over or under that population.

470,033 and 156,678 — Florida's state Senate and House districts must be redrawn with a respective 470,033 and 156,678 total population in each. The state has a bit more leeway than one over or under but must try to get as close as possible to avoid legal challenges. The last time around, the House districts came within 2.5% of the total and the Senate districts within 0.5%.

> Timeline: Redistricting 2012

? MARCH 2011 ?

Florida releases beta versions of its new, web-based redistricting software, MyDistrictBuilder, to give lawmakers and citizens time to test and learn the program.

? JUNE 2011 ?

Florida releases final version of redistricting web application.

? JULY - OCTOBER 2011 ?

State House and Senate redistricting committees hold public meetings around Florida to gather citizen testimony.

? JANUARY 2012 ?

The legislative session will begin early to accommodate the redistricting process. Ideally, the session and redistricting will wrap up March 9, 2012.

? MARCH - JUNE 2012 ?

The Florida Supreme Court and U.S. Department of Justice review Florida's redistricting plans for compliance.

? JUNE 18 - 22, 2012 ?

Qualifying week for state and federal elections in Florida.

Tags: Politics & Law, Government/Politics & Law

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