Two initiatives discussed here before that will fundamentally change the process of redistricting in the State of Florida have received the go ahead from the State’s highest court. The group pushing these initiatives must now collect 676,811 signatures for each ballot initiative to ensure their spot on the 2010 ballot. From this weekend’s Tallahassee Democrat:
Everyone acknowledges that the leaders and elected officials of whichever party is in power is fond of the current apportionment system, which makes districts so utterly in line with voting patterns that an interloper from the out-of-power party can almost never get elected.
Anecdotally it’s been said that map-drawing is so technologically refined these days that you can almost draw a district line down the middle of someone’s living room in a house where the wife is known to vote Democratic and the husband goes for the GOP.
They can also pack a large number of voters they don’t want to have any real power into just a few districts. These minorities win seats in the Legislature, and keep getting re-elected, but there aren’t enough of them to have any real power once they have that seat at the table.
It’s a form of legal segregation that also has the affect of keeping everyone’s interests narrow. If you don’t have to please a broad array of people with varying interests to get elected, you become narrow of mind, which isn’t good for the state as a whole.