Governor DeSantis' 20R-8D Florida map could potentially reduce the number of districts where Black voters are a majority and make it difficult for Democrats to win votes.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis' 20R-8D map stands a chance of making it difficult for Democrats to win anywhere north of Orlando or outside major cities, Dave Wasserman, who analyzes House races as a senior editor at The Cook Political Report with Amy Walter, wrote on Twitter.
Wasserman also pointed out that this map could potentially reduce the number of districts where Black voters are a majority, like Jacksonville, the city with the largest African American population in Florida.
Governor DeSantis had asked lawmakers to abolish Florida's 5th Congressional District, which connects Black communities from Tallahassee to Jacksonville and is currently represented by Democrat Al Lawson, Miami Herald reported.
The map would also incorporate parts of St. Petersburg into a Tampa-based district, combining two Democratic-held seats in Tampa Bay into one.
Republican lawmakers in Florida had previously warned that reducing Black voters' power would be a violation of the state's Fair Districts constitutional amendment.
- The state of Florida's Fair Districts constitutional amendment requires lawmakers to give minority communities the opportunity to "elect representatives of their choice."
DeSantis, on the other hand, has welcomed a legal challenge, implying that the state's conservative Supreme Court could undo the Fair Districts amendment.
In his own words, Governor DeSantis said:
I mean, we are not going to have a 200-mile gerrymander that divvies up people based on the color of their skin. That is wrong. That is not the way we've governed in the state of Florida."
The governor added that this decision was racially gerrymandered and has promised to replace it with a "race-neutral" district.
Social Media was full of concerns, and people denounced this move by Governor DeSantis, with many calling it "appalling".
The map is almost certain to get approval from the Republican-controlled legislature when state lawmakers meet next week in a special session.
- Allowing this would mean any Governor can someday pull a move that would suit their political whims in the future, but what are your thoughts on this? Do you think the legislature should approve this move? Deliberate your views in the comments. And if you think more people should read this, share it on social media.