Florida

Florida is a growing, diverse swing state that could gain 2 additional congressional seats in 2021. We need to elect Democrats up and down the ballot who will protect the Fair Districts constitutional amendment that voters overwhelmingly approved in 2010. Our electoral targets include the open governor’s race and the state Senate.

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How Redistricting Happened in Florida

The following timeline is a high-level overview outlining major redistricting events and activity in the state of Florida over the last 10 years.

Congressional Map Timeline

2010

Republicans maintain trifecta control of the state, winning supermajorities in both chambers of the state legislature and the governorship.

In response to partisan gerrymandering from 2000, voters passed the “Florida Congressional District Boundaries” constitutional amendments, also widely known as the “Fair Districts” amendments, on November 2 to attempt to combat the partisan practice and establish “fairness” for the process of map-drawing.

2011

Census data delivered to Florida.

2012

Republican-controlled state legislature passes gerrymandered congressional map, ignoring the “Fair Districts” constitutional amendment.

Republican Governor Rick Scott signs the gerrymandered map into law.

President Barack Obama wins the state with 50% of the vote, but Republicans make up 63% of the congressional delegation and state legislature.

Two separate groups of plaintiffs filed challenges to the map in state court.

2014

The state trial court finds that Republican operatives conspired to manipulate the redistricting process to favor their party, and thus that the congressional map was drawn with unconstitutional partisan intent.

2015

The Florida Supreme Court affirms the trial court’s ruling striking down the 2012 congressional map. The Court ordered the Legislature to redraw specific districts, but the Legislature’s special session ended without an adopted plan. The Florida House asked the court to initiate proceedings to adopt a remedial plan, and to invite the plaintiffs in the litigation and the state legislative bodies to submit proposed remedial maps. After doing so, the state Supreme Court adopted a new map for the congressional districts as recommended by the trial court based on those submissions.

2016

Florida almost evenly splits between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and the new congressional map yields a fairer delegation with one more Democrat than 2012’s delegation.

2018

Floridians have the chance to replace outgoing Republican Governor Rick Scott with a Democrat who can veto a Republican gerrymander from the legislature.

NDRC is focused on electing Democrats to the Florida state Senate to ensure there are people in place to enforce the Fair Districts amendments.

State Legislature Timeline

2012

Republican-controlled state legislature passes joint resolution for a gerrymandered map, ignoring the “Fair Districts” constitutional amendment.

The Florida Supreme Court rejects the state Senate plan.

Legislature passes a revised state Senate plan, which the state Supreme Court approves.

The state Senate plan is challenged under the Florida Constitution as, among other things, a violation of the state’s prohibition on partisan gerrymandering.

2015

After the state court found that the legislature had drawn the congressional map with undue partisan influence, the Republican controlled state Senate admitted that it had also drawn the state Senate plan to favor a political party and incumbents and agreed to redraw the state Senate plan.

Legislature convened a special session to re-draw the Senate plan, but failed to do so.

State court ordered a new Senate plan for the 2016 general election.

2018

Floridians have the chance to replace outgoing Republican Governor Rick Scott with a Democrat who can veto a Republican gerrymander from the legislature.

The NDRC is focused on electing Democrats to the Florida state Senate to ensure there are people in place to enforce the Fair Districts amendments.

Know the Races that Impact Redistricting

  • Governor. Florida has an open gubernatorial election this cycle. Whomever wins the governor’s seat in November will have veto power over proposed congressional maps.
  • State Senate. Half of Florida’s state Senate seats are up this year. Since the governor does not have authority to approve or block state legislative maps, flipping this chamber by 2020 will give Democrats a critical voice during redistricting.

1 Know the Decision Makers

The redistricting process is controlled by different elected officials in each state. Knowing who they are and when to vote for them is the key to creating a fairer redistricting process. Legislative lines in Florida are drawn by the state legislature. Congressional lines are drawn by:

  • Governor
  • State Senate
  • State House

2

3 Know Your State Legislature

Florida Lower Chamber
41

Democratic-held
seats

76

Republican-held
seats

3 Vacant seats

Florida Upper Chamber
16

Democratic-held
seats

23

Republican-held
seats

1 Vacant seats

4 Register to Vote

Register to vote in Florida

You can also confirm that you are already registered to vote.

5 Vote

Vote for candidates who will unrig the system. We will have a list of candidates we are supporting later in the year.

 

Primary Election Date: August 28, 2018

General Election Date: November 6, 2018

Court Cases Impacting Florida

Florida underwent years of litigation over its congressional map that resulted in a redraw by the state Supreme Court in 2015.

The League of Women Voters of Florida vs. Ken Detzner

Read the Florida Supreme Court decision.

Get Involved in Florida Today

The fight to fix gerrymandering is right now—and we need your help in Florida! Here’s what you can do:

Join Organizing for ‘18

The National Democratic Redistricting Committee and Organizing for Action (OFA) launched a partnership to build a more fair democracy by strategically targeting legislative chambers, governorships, and ballot initiatives that will be critical in determining how maps are drawn after the 2020 Census.

Join a Local OFA Chapter

Alongside the National Redistricting Action Fund (an NDRC affiliate), OFA is engaging with activists and volunteers to help educate people about gerrymandering and involve them in the process of fixing a badly rigged political system.

Attend Events Near You

The National Democratic Redistricting Committee and MobilizeAmerica have teamed up to bring you the highest-impact volunteer opportunities in Florida to help elect Democrats up and down the ticket — and bring an end to Republican gerrymandering.

You can register to vote for the general election in Florida up until October 9, 2018.

Register
to Vote