A Florida judge is being asked to move this year’s election dates — including postponing next month’s primary — in order to draw up new congressional districts for the state. The request was filed Wednesday by a coalition of groups, including the League of Women Voters, who successfully challenged Florida’s current congressional map. Circuit Judge Terry Lewis ruled earlier this month that the state Legislature illegally drew the districts in 2012 to primarily benefit the Republican Party. Florida legislative leaders have said they will change the districts, but they want to wait until after the November elections to avoid disruption and problems at the polls. More than 1 million absentee ballots for the Aug. 26 primary went out this week.
… In order to make sure there is time to put the new districts in place this year, the coalition presented several proposals to postpone the Aug. 26 primary to Sept. 30 or even later. Some of the proposed calendars also called for pushing back the Nov. 4 general election to December. Another alternative is to hold a new round of congressional elections early next year.
Senate President Don Gaetz and House Speaker Will Weatherford issued a joint statement criticizing the motion filed by the groups, saying it could disenfranchise overseas and military voters. Normally overseas ballots are sent out 45 days ahead of the election. The proposal submitted by the groups would in some cases cut that to 28 days or 31 days. … But King, in a statement, said the state can get waivers from some of the timelines. He said it was important to make sure people were voting on constitutional maps.