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. Deirdre Macnab, president of the League of Women Voters of Florida, said Tuesday that the map passed by the Legislature this week “looks suspiciously like” the blueprint that Lewis tossed in July.
Lewis ruled two congressional districts approved by lawmakers in 2012 violated anti-gerrymandering standards that voters added to the Florida Constitution in 2010.
“We don’t believe the (new) maps comply with the criteria the judge laid out,” Macnab said.
She wouldn’t comment specifically on whether Lewis should redraw the districts, as some critics of the map have suggested. But she also made it clear that the league believes lawmakers have had several chances to draw a map correctly. “The Legislature’s already had one opportunity to comply with the amendments,” Macnab said. “This was their second chance.”