How Redistricting May Affect You | Politics

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How Redistricting May Affect You
Politics
How Redistricting May Affect You

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Florida lawmakers are required to redraw new boundaries every ten years to ensure that their is 'equal' representation for every voter.

This time the state is adding two congressional districts and that will translate into two additional electoral votes.

"This is the end game," said Stephen Baker. Baker is a political scientist at Jacksonville University.

"When it comes to districts, you can cut them up in all sort of ways," said Baker.

A Florida legislative committee began the process to solicit the public's input.

"The only criticism is they don't have a plan," said Baker.

The plan is to use the public's input from hearings around the state to develop a redistricting plan.

Max George, who describes himself as a blue collar worker, has often questioned why some of Florida's congressional districts have an unusual shape. But George said he was unaware of the hearings.

"It goes to show how much I am out of the loop," said George.

He said he will live with whatever the final plan becomes, but he does not plan to attend the public hearings.

Professor Baker said the redistricting plan must meet three criteria.

1)The population in the districts have to be the same.

2)The district boundaries must be contiguous.

3)The districts must meet community interests.

"That means that the people are represented," said Baker. "That is going to be their biggest challenge: defining that."

Baker said while the legislative committee is conducting the hearings and considering plans that have been submitted by individuals, the final decision will be made behind closed doors.

He said voters need to be vigilant.

"Most people don't care about it until they see who is representing them," he said.

The redistricting will create two additional congressional districts and that may come at the incumbents' expense.

"It could change some districts two or three at the most," he said.

The legislature has to approve the final plan and the governor has to sign it into law.

The outcome of redistricting will also affect the Jacksonville City Council and the Duval County School Board.

 

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