Random renumbering of Senate districts slated for Tuesday

Florida Capitol - Angle - Large

Staff from the Florida Senate and Auditor General’s office will meet Tuesday to assign random numbers to districts in the state’s new Senate District map.

Senate President Andy Gardiner announced the meeting in a Monday news release.

The random numbering will be done in an open meeting at 9 a.m. in Room 412 of the Capitol Complex’s Knott Building. Staff members will use the randomizing function in Microsoft’s Excel spreadsheet software to come up with the numbers.

“Upon the conclusion of the meeting, I have further requested that the Office of the Auditor General provide the results to the Senate’s General Counsel along with a statement describing the process used to conduct the random lottery and certifying the results,” Gardiner said.

He added: “Complying with the circuit court ruling does not preclude the possibility the Senate will take further legal action in this case.”

In a conference call last week, plaintiffs’ attorney David King said he didn’t know what the Senate would gain by appealing Reynolds’ ruling, calling the decision “rock solid.”

The move comes in response to Circuit Judge George Reynolds‘ order redrawing the boundaries of the Senate’s 40-district map.

The judge picked a map drawn by a coalition of voter-rights groups, including the League of Women Voters of Florida, who say the current districts violate the state constitution’s anti-gerrymandering provision.

The Senate ruling was the second time last year that the courts decide the state’s political boundaries.

In October, Circuit Court Judge Terry Lewis endorsed a map drawn by the League of Women Voters of Florida and Common Cause as the new boundaries for the state’s congressional districts.

Those organizations and others sued the state over congressional and state Senate district lines. They said the existing maps violated the state’s “Fair Districts” constitutional amendments aimed at prohibiting gerrymandering.

Jim Rosica

Jim Rosica is the Tallahassee-based Senior Editor for Florida Politics. He previously was the Tampa Tribune’s statehouse reporter. Before that, he covered three legislative sessions in Florida for The Associated Press. Jim graduated from law school in 2009 after spending nearly a decade covering courts for the Tallahassee Democrat, including reporting on the 2000 presidential recount. He can be reached at [email protected]


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