Tallahassee Democrat by Patricia Brigham Guest Columnist
November 14, 2019
In 2010, 63% of Florida voters said “yes” to a constitutional amendment to stop legislators from rigging districts to unfairly perpetuate their own political power.
In 2012, legislators desperately tried just about every trick in the book to draw biased districts and keep their unconstitutional shenanigans from the public. It then took a four-year battle and, ultimately, intervention by the courts to uncover their scheme and give voters what they demanded – fairly drawn legislative and congressional districts. While lawmakers publicly congratulated themselves for the “most open and transparent redistricting ever” their line-drawing process was later exposed as a sham.
The maps were actually drawn in the shadows by political party operatives who conspired with legislative leaders to draw maps and submit them to the legislature as if they had been drawn by average citizens. In fact, they were professionally drawn to favor the party in control. And they nearly got away with it. It took court-ordered discovery to unveil the secret parallel process that led to adoption of unconstitutional maps.