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Redistricting

Elections, Municipal, Race, Redistricting

Leon’s Charter Review Board is Considering Proposals that will weaken African-American electoral power

Leon County, Florida is currently in the middle of going through its Charter Review process.   The county, home to Florida’s capital, became a charter county in 2002, and every eight years the county commission appoints individuals to the ‘Charter Review Board’ to consider changes that can be put forward to the voters.   It has come to my attention, however, that the board is debating two proposals, which, if passed, would severely hamper minority voters in the county. Continue Reading

2016 President, Florida, Redistricting

Presidential Results by Florida Senate District and the Impact of Redistricting

In  2015, Florida underwent mid-decade redistricting for its state senate lines, around the same time it was forced to redraw its congressional boundaries.  Unlike the congressional case, where the state supreme court ordered a redraw, the legislature avoided a verdict and agreed to redraw their lines after evidence came to light that the legislature had worked to circumvent the Fair Districts Amendments passed in 2010.  After a special session that resulted in no final map, the court picked a plan chosen by the plaintiffs that sued over the lines.   The case was closed and Florida conducted its elections with new state senate lines. Continue Reading

2016 President, Congressional, Redistricting

How Florida’s Congressional Districts Voted and the Impact of Redistricting

In  2015, Florida was ordered to undergo a round of mid-decade redistricting after the Florida Supreme Court found the 2012 Congressional Plan passed by the GOP-controlled Florida legislature to be unconstitutional.  When the legislature failed to agree on a map, a judge selected a plan drawn by the coalition plaintiffs – who had originally filed suit over the map.  This year was the first time an election was held under this new map. Continue Reading

Florida, Redistricting

Florida Senate District 19 Primary: Battle of the Bay

Anyone who followed my Florida redistricting coverage in 2015 knows I was strongly against a senate district that linked Tampa and St Petersburg by crossing the Tampa Bay.  The argument was that only by linking the African-Americans of Tampa and downtown St Peterburg could a proper African-American access seat be created.  The flaw in this argument was that the legislature relied on outdated data and ignored recent elections that had taken place after large African-American registration increases in Tampa.  At the end of the day, a district crossing the Tampa Bay was adopted.  This set off a major primary for the open seat. Continue Reading

Elections, Redistricting

Virginia’s 2nd District Primary — When Carpetbagging backfires

Virginia Congressman Randy Forbes shouldn’t have had any troubles getting re-elected in 2016.  The Congressman has been a member of the House of Representatives since 2001 and has faced little electoral trouble in his 15 year congressional career.  Forbes initially sat in the 4th congressional district, which following the 2012 round of redistricting, was a swing seat that voted for Obama in 2008 and Romney in 2012.   Continue Reading

Florida, Municipal, Redistricting

Jefferson County Commission and School Board Districts Disenfranchise African-Americans

Jefferson County, Florida, a small Democratic-leaning county just to the east of Tallahassee, is currently being sued by the ACLU over its 5 single-member commission districts, which are used for both County Commission and School Board elections.  The suing parties say that the districts use prison gerrymandering to inflate the minority population of one district specifically, District 3.  The issue stems from Jefferson County Correctional Institution, a jail with over 1,100 inmates.   Prison populations are counted by the census for the location they are incarcerated in, not where they initially lived.   Continue Reading

Florida, Redistricting

‘Twas the Night Before the Redistricting Trial…

‘Twas the night before trial, and all through the house,

Not a creature was stirring, save the click of my mouse;

The maps were all mounted by the desk with care,

In hopes that an end of the redistricting saga would soon be there;

The analysts were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of convex hull scores danced in their heads; Continue Reading