redistricting

Claire Heddles / WJCT

Jacksonville officials won’t be rushing the redistricting process after receiving Census Bureau data four months later than usual. In a meeting Tuesday, the City Council’s redistricting committee approved a timeline for Jacksonville to have new voting districts by mid-April, after the next School Board election in March.

City of Jacksonville

If you cast your mind back to the blurry, early months of the coronavirus pandemic, you may recall filling out a form from the Census Bureau. Maybe you filled it out online; maybe you filled out a paper version. Maybe a friendly census worker knocked on your door reminding you of your civic duty to acknowledge how many people live in your household. 

Democratic Party Chair Daniel Henry speaks at a holiday party.
Courtesy Duval Dems

The Duval County Democratic Party punted on whether to remove their party chair Monday night after a member of a grievance committee raised a concern about a technicality. 

Democratic Party Chair Daniel Henry
DUVAL COUNTY DEMS

A grievance committee of the Duval County Democratic Party is recommending the party remove its chairman after an internal investigation found he violated local and state Democratic Party bylaws. 

Democratic Party Chair Daniel Henry
DUVAL COUNTY DEMS

Duval County Democratic Party Chair Daniel Henry confirmed Monday that a complaint has been filed against him by fellow Democrat, Jacksonville City Councilman Garrett Dennis. 

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

A coalition of voting rights groups is asking a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Jacksonville Congresswoman Corrine Brown (D-FL5).  

Florida Senate

A state Senate redistricting plan favored by voting-rights organizations was approved Wednesday by a Leon County judge in a move that could shake the Republican Party's grip on power in the Capitol.

In choosing the new map, Circuit Judge George Reynolds also rejected a plan put forward by Senate Republican leaders as the best configuration of the chamber's 40 seats. The proposal chosen by Reynolds would lead to a roughly even number of districts favoring each party.

Corrine Brown
U.S. House of Representatives

Arguing that an east-west configuration for her district "combines far-flung communities worlds apart culturally and geographically," lawyers for U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown (D-FL5) asked a federal judge Tuesday to void Florida's latest congressional redistricting plan.

Florida Senate

The final state redistricting trial in a nearly four-year legal battle over Florida's political boundaries ended with both sides trading charges of partisan gerrymandering, some of them the same accusations that have been hurled in court since the beginning.

In closing arguments Thursday before Leon County Circuit Judge George Reynolds, lawyers for the state Senate and a coalition of voting-rights groups made final pitches for their versions of a map for the Senate's 40 districts.

Congresswoman Corrine Brown is planning to move out of a redrawn Congressional District Five, and former state Senator Al Lawson is looking to move in.

State of Florida

The decisions prompting state Senate leaders to choose a redistricting plan they recommended to a Leon County judge took center stage Monday, the first day of a trial to determine whether that map should go to the Florida Supreme Court.

A coalition of voting-rights groups has unveiled six possible maps for the Florida Senate's 40 districts, setting up a court battle that could boost Democrats' hopes of retaking a toehold in state government now dominated by Republicans.

The maps, released Wednesday shortly before midnight, will be considered by Leon County Circuit Judge George Reynolds. He will decide among the plans submitted by the League of Women Voters of Florida and Common Cause Florida, the plaintiffs in a long-running legal fight, and a proposal floated earlier Wednesday by Senate leaders.

A Leon County judge on Friday quickly rejected a Florida Senate request to bring in an outside expert to redraw the Senate's 40 districts.

Leon County Circuit Judge George Reynolds III, who turned down the Senate proposal during a 30-minute hearing conducted over the phone, said there wasn't enough time remaining to bring in a "special master" to help draw new district lines.

After a second consecutive redistricting session fell apart Thursday and the Legislature went home yet again without passing a map, lawmakers' message was more or less: We told you so.

CREDIT PETRONAS / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

 

As Florida lawmakers continue wrangling with redistricting, the state’s county elections supervisors say their drop-dead date for district boundary changes is mid-December.

 

Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner says supervisors need to know about changes sooner than later.

 

“We’re getting close to a time period in which the supervisors really need to know and we’re anticipating that the courts in the near future some time in December will have some final maps,” Detzner said.

The Florida Channel

A last-ditch effort to keep the courts from drawing state Senate districts collapsed Thursday, as senators voted down a plan proposed by the House and a special session called to draw the lines crashed to an end.

On a 23-16 vote, the Senate killed the House version of the map (SJR 2-C) and any hope that the Legislature would decide the lines. Nine Republicans bucked their party's leadership and joined all 14 Democrats in opposing the plan.

In a ruling that could reshape the state's political landscape, a Leon County judge recommended Friday that the Florida Supreme Court adopt congressional districts proposed by a coalition of voting-rights groups.

The decision by Circuit Judge Terry Lewis was a blow to House and Senate leaders who argued for other maps of the state's 27 congressional seats in a three-day hearing last month. Lewis was charged with recommending a plan to the Supreme Court, which will make the final decision, after the House and Senate failed to agree on a new map during an August special session.

State of Florida

Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner has asked a federal judge to toss out a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of redistricting standards approved by voters in 2010, saying he doesn't enforce the "Fair Districts" requirements.

Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

Duval School Superintendent Nikolai Vitti provided a timeline and more information about potential school boundary changes at a workshop, Tuesday.

The changes would affect more than 20 schools, turning many of them into magnets, starting the 2016-2017 school year.

Jacksonville Democratic Congresswoman Corrine Brown stopped by the workshop to give her two cents.

 

Rep. Corrine Brown via Flickr

Jacksonville Congresswoman Corrine Brown (D-FL5) could face several opponents in the courtroom as she sues over proposed new district boundaries.  

Voting-rights groups are trying to intervene in the suit because they say the Legislature can’t be counted on to defend the Florida Constitution.


Florida Senate

The legal arguments about Florida's political maps continue to mushroom.

While the Florida Supreme Court and the Legislature grapple with how congressional districts will be drawn, more legal fights are building in federal courts.

Gregory Todaro / WJCT News

Jacksonville Democratic Congresswoman Corrine Brown says she’s planning to file a federal lawsuit to block the redrawing of her district.

In front of Jacksonville’s federal courthouse Tuesday, Brown said voters in the proposed new district wouldn’t elect a minority candidate. And the change would violate the federal Voting Rights Act.

“The federal court drew my district in 1992, the federal court. And I was the first African American to be elected to congress in 129 years. They drew the district putting communities of interest together.”

Florida Senate

A new set of congressional districts that could alter the futures of several members of the state's U.S. House delegation was released by the Legislature on Wednesday, days before the beginning of a special session where redrawn lines will be approved.

The Orlando Sentinel has created an interactive map to show the new and old districts.

Florida Election Commission

Pointing to a time crunch, a Leon County circuit judge Wednesday gave the Florida Legislature little more than two months to draw new congressional districts and to defend them in court.

Judge George S. Reynolds III issued an order that said a special legislative session to redraw districts and a subsequent trial must be finished by Sept. 25. The order came after the Florida Supreme Court last week tossed out eight congressional districts because it found that lawmakers violated a 2010 constitutional amendment aimed at preventing gerrymandering.

After a Florida Supreme Court ruling today, the public will be able to view documents that led a judge to declare the state’s congressional districts unconstitutional. The court ordered the unsealing of a Republican strategist’s records cited as key evidence in this year’s redistricting trial.

News4Jax

A Leon County judge upheld a second draft of the state's congressional districts in a decision issued Friday, but shelved the new map until after the November elections.

The decision marked a major victory for legislative Republicans, who approved the new plan this month after Lewis ruled that their first draft violated the Florida Constitution's ban on political gerrymandering. The GOP had also pushed for the earlier version of the districts, approved in 2012, to remain in place through this year's elections.

News4Jax

Tallahassee Circuit Judge Terry Lewis said Wednesday that he will soon make a decision in the lawsuit over Florida’s Congressional district maps.

Tallahassee Judge Urged to Reject Redistricting Map

Aug 19, 2014

A Leon County judge should draw a new congressional map instead of using one the Legislature crafted in a special session earlier this month, a group of voters and voting-rights organizations said in a filing Monday.

Lawyers for the individual voters and the organizations, who sued to get a 2012 redistricting plan struck down, argue that lawmakers haven't done enough to respond to Circuit Judge Terry Lewis' decision that the initial boundaries violated the Florida Constitution's ban on political gerrymandering.

No Special Congressional Elections Until 2015 - Secretary of State

Aug 18, 2014

Proposed special elections in the seven congressional districts redrawn by the Legislature earlier this week would have to wait until at least spring of next year, Secretary of State Ken Detzner's office said in a court filing Friday.

The special elections could not take place until after the regular November vote was certified and some other post-election reports were finished --- a process that will last into December, according to the filing.

Redistricting Session is Over; Battle Over the Map Continues

Aug 13, 2014

The special redistricting session held by the Legislature lasted just five days, but the two-year battle over the boundaries of the state's 27 congressional districts seems to be far from over.

Voting-rights groups who sued to get the original map overturned say the new plan, approved Monday on nearly party-line votes in the House and Senate, isn't enough of an improvement for Leon County Circuit Judge Terry Lewis to sign off on it. And there's still no clarity on whether an election that is already underway in some counties will be delayed.

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