State will not appeal Congressional redistricting decision

Troy Kinsey Tallahassee Bureau Reporter | Bay News 9 | 07/16/2014

TALLAHASSEE— Florida lawmakers will not appeal a decision that strikes down the state’s Congressional district map.

Last week a judge ruled some of the state’s congressional districts were drawn illegally by Florida’s Republican-controlled legislature.

Two of them will need to be redrawn, Districts 5 and 10. Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Jacksonville, represents a district that snakes from Jacksonville to Orlando. The second district belongs to Rep. Dan Webster, R-Winter Garden.

While lawmakers will not appeal the ruling, they will ask the court to wait to redraw the map after the 2014 election.

Over the weekend ballots were mailed to voters living overseas for the 2014 election.

In a statement, House Speaker Will Weatherford and Senate President Don Gaetz wrote:

“Changing the map would cause chaos and confusion and would threaten the rights of our deployed military voters.”

The League of Women Voters is asking a Tallahassee judge to either re-draw the map on his own or order lawmakers to call a special legislative session in the coming weeks.

“Now that they’ve decided not to fight, to appeal this decision, now it’s really up to the legislature to do that with all deliberate speed,” said State Rep. Alan Williams, D-Tallahassee.

The qualifying period for congressional candidates to file to run for office closed two months ago. If the maps are re-drawn before November there would have to be a whole new qualifying period.

The primary election is only a month and a half away.

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