Another week, another Hail Mary attempt by the Florida League of Women Voters to drag Florida’s redistricting lawsuit into a smoke-filled room to have the league’s congressional maps used for this year’s election.
Judge Terry Lewis ruled that two of Florida’s congressional districts do not meet the standards set in the Fair Districts amendment to Florida’s Constitution. One district is held by a Democrat; one is held by a Republican.
Last week, the league asked Lewis to use their maps for this November’s election. These maps have had no public input, public scrutiny, legislative oversight or judicial review. The moves by the league clearly show they have nothing but partisan intentions.
The league wants to outmaneuver the Republican Legislature, which drew maps following many public meetings, hours of testimony by the public and plenty of judicial review. Lewis said he was “very skeptical” that he could legally implement any new map before the November election.
This week, the league floated another plan to replace the unconstitutional maps. An election that has already passed the qualifying dates had absentee ballots mailed for the primary (one of the latest in the country). It’s an election where candidates have already made plans and spent money putting those plans into action.
The league recommends that citizens statewide vote for the representative for the two House seats rather than having the voters from the unconstitutional districts select them. This would disenfranchise and water down the votes of those who live in these two districts.
I’m sure next week the league will ask for all U.S. House seats to be elected statewide. It is time to call the league what it really is — an arm of the Florida Democratic Party disguised as a non-partisan organization.
I trust Lewis sees through this new smokescreen and does the right thing, which is to move forward with the election that is in process and require the Legislature to fix the maps during the next legislative session.
That way, the public can have proper input instead of using a map that was drawn in a smoke-filled room by the League of Women Voters.
Jamie Miller is a Sarasota-based political consultant who has been involved with five statewide campaigns and numerous campaigns from the local to federal level. Column courtesy of Context Florida.