Sunday, September 13, 2009

Support Fair Districts


From Daytona Beach News Journal:

It should be a neutral process. In five states, it is. Independent redistricting commissions draw up boundaries based on population and geography. In a few states, commissions and state legislatures collaborate. In most states, Florida among them, the process is mostly political. The party controlling the state legislature draws up the new map, and usually does so not to reapportion voter populations cohesively but to maximize its electoral advantage for the following 10 years. Gerrymandering by computer models is common. District lines that follow community, city or county contours are not. ...

In Florida, is leading the drive to put two constitutional amendments on the 2010 ballot. One would forbid the drawing of district lines to protect an incumbent or a political party. Another would require districts to follow geographic and community boundaries. Should the amendments pass, lawmakers would be compelled either to appoint a commission to follow the new rules or to follow them themselves, their gerrymandering impulse neutralized.

With almost 1.5 million petitions in hand, FairDistrictsFlorida has more than twice the necessary signatures (and the Florida Supreme Court's approval) to put the proposals on the ballot. The rest will be up to voters -- as redistricting never has been.

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