Survey finds bipartisan opposition to gerrymandering

Florida FL Puzzle Pieces Map Working Together 3d Illustration
Voters would give up their party's advantage for more fairness, the survey found.

Polarized political beliefs aside, voters are united in their view that districts drawn to favor one party over another undermine trust in election results, a new survey has found.

And that holds even for the state’s Republicans, who currently have the power to draw maps that favor their party, according to statewide polling conducted by RepresentUS, which bills itself a national, nonpartisan group dedicated to improving elections.

It’s called gerrymandering, and Floridians — Republicans, Democrats and Independents — want it to stop, said Joe Kabourek, Senior Campaign Director for RepresentUS, during a news conference Thursday.

“Florida voters see gerrymandering as a partisan conflict of interest,” Kabourek said. “It’s used by politicians in power to go behind closed doors and rig the outcome of elections.”

The online survey of 428 Floridians found that, overall, 80% of voters oppose gerrymandering. Confine responses from former President Donald Trump supporters from President Joe Biden backers, and the results don’t change that much. Seventy-five percent of survey respondents who said they voted for Trump oppose gerrymandering, compared to 88% of Biden voters who are also against it.

The issue is sure to come to the forefront this year as the Legislature redraws districts according to population shifts found in the 2020 census, a process that occurs every 10 years. The survey shows voters are expecting the worst. The survey found that by three-to-one (43% to 14%), voters expect congressional and legislative districts in Florida to be gerrymandered.

“There’s a lot of new technology out there that enables partisan Legislators to slice and dice districts with greater precision so they can further their own careers or their party’s efforts,” Kabourek said.

The maps drawn during the last redistricting process resulted in a lawsuit challenging the maps as in violation of a 2010 constitutional amendment that passed with 62% of voters supporting it, the Fair Districts Amendment. The amendment said, “districts may not be drawn to favor or disfavor an incumbent political party.”

The state Supreme Court ordered eight districts redrawn in 2015.

That lawsuit has made Florida voters more cognizant of the problem compared to surveys of the same issue in other states, Kabourek said.

Democrats have been preparing for the latest fight for quite some time. Florida House Democrats formed the Working Group on Redistricting in 2017, four full years before redistricting.

The same group that pushed for the Fair District Amendment and sued when the results didn’t match the law say they are prepared to sue again.

The survey found voters would like lawmakers to leave the process to someone else entirely, Kabourek said. The survey found 64% of surveyed voters would like state politicians banned from drawing new maps determining legislative and congressional district boundaries.

The survey was conducted in Florida through an online panel administered by YouGov through email and text, according to RepresentUS officials who called it a representative sample of voters. The survey was taken June 30-July 8, 2021, the group said.

Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected]


5 comments

  • Tom

    September 17, 2021 at 6:46 am

    I am sure the outrage would be the same from this front org. if the Dems controlled the legislature and influenced the gerrymander.

    The survey quoted says 43% expect the worst, so well 57% do not expect the worse.

    Republicans and the Florida legislature will work with reasonable Democrats to draw competitive lines.

  • jotevof904

    September 17, 2021 at 9:25 am

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  • Alex

    September 17, 2021 at 1:52 pm

    When our far right Legislature gerrymanders the shit out of our Districts, no one will remember that Republicans told this whopper.

    Lies and conspiracy theories are all the right has.

    • Tom

      September 17, 2021 at 4:13 pm

      Alex you ignorant fool.
      You have no understanding, no depth or knowledge. Have you heard of the Maryland Gerrymander, 7-1 Dems House seats, Go flush yourself.
      Do you honestly think it’s just Repubs.

      • Tim

        September 20, 2021 at 9:09 pm

        Hey Tom,

        You are a fucking naive idiot!!! Repuklicans don’t want anything to do with fair democracy. They are all Putin wannabes! Fucking un-American trairors!

Comments are closed.


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