6 days ago, 07/23/2015 at 2:23pm
Politicians are fond of saying that we regular people just don’t understand the complexity of how government works. And few would contest a comparison between the making of legislation and the making of sausage. Neither is very pretty.
But our elected representatives in Tallahassee take it to a whole new level.
Over four and half years ago, Florida voters approved dual Fair District amendments to combat the Florida Legislature’s bad habit of gerrymandering voting districts for both state reps and U.S. Congressional representatives.
The constitutional amendments prohibit the Legislature from drawing districts to favor or hurt incumbents, parties or minority groups. Districts must be contiguous and compact. Those pesky Florida voters thought that was a good idea. Not so our elected officials.
And like their recent treatment of Amendment One for land and water conservation purchases, the Legislature proceeded as if the Fair District Amendments did not exist.
Voting district lines are redrawn every 10 years based on census data. They brought in party consultants, Republican, because they control both the Florida House and Senate, and a few lawyers. They held a ridiculous series of meetings around the state, supposedly to ask for input, but hamstrung Floridians by not having a map to comment on at the meetings. And in the end, drew up a map with lots of gerrymandered districts.