Voters to Decide District Guidelines

By: Mike Vasilinda Email
By: Mike Vasilinda Email

Tallahassee, FL - Congressional District 11 starts in north Tampa, runs south to Bradenton, and even includes south St. Petersburg. District 16 is a claw-shaped district and includes Jupiter and Wellington but runs all the way to the West coast. District 4 starts in Jacksonville and ends in eastern Tallahassee, which is where we met Maria Patel.

Reporter: “Have you ever met your congressman?”
Patel: “No.”
Reporter: “Do you know who he is?”
Patel: “No.”

Marie’s house here is 162 miles from her congressman’s office in Jacksonville, 105 miles from his office in Lake City. Yet she is just 6 miles from the state capital.

“Maybe he doesn’t know what’s going on in Tallahassee,” Patel said.

Voters will decide on two amendments in November over whether to restrict politicians ability to draw districts. Fair Districts Florida just launched a tv spot to encourage a yes vote.

“Year after year politicians get reelected, protected by district lines they’ve drawn up in back room deals.”

But opponents, including two sitting congress people and the former secretary of state, are fighting back.

“The proposed amendments are not realistic,” former Secretary of State Kurt Browning said. “They are contradictory as well as untested.”

But Carole Fiore, who lives in District 4, says she’d like her congressman closer than a hundred and sixty miles.

“We don’t really have somebody that understands our community, our area,” Fiore said.

The amendments require a 60 percent vote for approval.

The NAACP is in favor of the two amendments, but a former Executive Director, Benjamin Chavis, aid he was opposed to Amendments 5 and 6.


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  • by Allen Location: Tallahassee on Oct 11, 2010 at 08:50 PM
    Mike, The headline of this article is very deceiving. The voters will not decide the district guidelines by approving this measure, they will only change who does by taking the decision away from the legislature and giving it to an appointed body.
  • by James on Oct 11, 2010 at 08:23 PM
    “Year after year politicians get reelected, protected by district lines they’ve drawn up in back room deals.” Corruption and manipulation at its finest. Exactly what the USSC said was illegal being used on a much smaller scale against blacks being discriminated at the polls, and rarely being able to get someone elected because whites had a monopoly. So, now it is okay to do? Not so. Not for either side. Their is a process called filing a lawsuit in federal court if election discrimination is occurring, but that is not what these manipulators want; they want to stay in office forever. We need term limits to fix this crapola !!!! Two term maximum and you are outta there !!!!! Held: The judgment is affirmed in part and reversed in part. 590 F.Supp. 345, affirmed in part and reversed in part. JUSTICE BRENNAN delivered the opinion of the Court with respect to Parts I, II, III-A, III-B, IV-A, and V, concluding that: 1. Minority voters who contend that the multimember form of districting violates § 2 must prove that the use of a multimember electoral structure operates to minimize or cancel out their ability to elect their preferred candidates. 2. Stated succinctly, a bloc voting majority must usually be able to defeat candidates supported by a politically cohesive, geographically insular minority group. The relevance of the existence of racial bloc voting to a vote dilution claim is twofold: to ascertain whether minority group members constitute a politically cohesive unit and to determine whether whites vote sufficiently as a bloc usually to defeat the minority's preferred candidate.
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