TALLAHASSEE, FL – Today, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a new congressional redistricting map for Florida, created by his own staff and approved along party lines in the Legislature. The map manipulates districts in favor of the Republican Party and diminishes Black voters' ability to elect representatives of their choice. Through this process, members of the Florida Legislature abdicated their responsibility to create a congressional map that meets the requirements in the Fair Districts Amendment, which were enshrined in the Florida Constitution by a supermajority of Floridians.
Earlier this month, Gov. DeSantis vetoed a congressional redistricting map that was passed by the Florida Legislature. A special session of the Legislature was convened in late April to review the new congressional map proposed by Gov. DeSantis, which constitutes an illegal and partisan gerrymander, manipulated to favor the Republican party and sever Black communities across the state.
Amy Turkel, interim executive director of the ACLU of Florida, responded with the following statement:
"Gov. DeSantis and his allies in the Legislature took the dangerous and unprecedented action of pushing through a congressional map in a manner that ignores state laws and deliberately erases Black voters' representation. The racially discriminatory map approved today is another deliberate manipulation that denies Black voters their voice in electing the candidates of their choosing.
“In 2010, 63 percent of Floridians voted to add the Fair Districts Amendment to the state constitution, which guarantees ‘the equal opportunity of racial or language minorities to participate in the political process’ and bars intent or result that would ‘diminish their ability to elect representatives of their choice.’
“In other words, the Fair Districts Amendment prohibits exactly what Gov. DeSantis did this week. It appears the governor wants to return to a time when designing districts that run roughshod over Black voters was permitted in Florida.
“Floridians are facing a housing crisis with rents going through the roof and a collapsing property insurance market, but instead of trying to solve the real issues facing our state, Gov. DeSantis pushed the Legislature to pass his unconstitutional congressional map.
“It is clear that Gov. DeSantis will use every opportunity he can to disenfranchise Black Floridians. As a separate and equal branch of government, Florida’s House and Senate leaders were charged with the responsibility of crafting fair and equal redistricting maps and protecting Floridians’ fundamental right to vote and to have their voices heard in the election process. They completely disregarded their core responsibilities to Floridians and instead joined yet another scheme by DeSantis to push democracy out of reach for Black people.
“We should all be outraged at this violation of our democratic process, because we know that our democracy – the promise of our nation – is dependent upon providing access for all citizens to vote and to choose leaders who respect and honor their values and interests."