To The Editor:
As hearings approaches, the League of Women Voters of Florida continues to call on the Legislature to expedite the redistricting timeline and provide new, legislatively drawn maps for public comment in order to avoid chaos and confusion for voters during the 2012 elections.
During the "listening tour," the League has continually asked legislators to commit to preparing district maps earlier, debating them in the fall and passing them during the first week of the 2012 legislative session. The Florida Constitution requires that legislative maps are voted on in 2012, but it does not prohibit drafts of those maps from being debated and discussed beforehand.
On Aug. 10, the League, along with its coalition partners, sent a letter to legislative leadership urging the adoption of an accelerated timeline to prevent Florida from being the last state in the country to finalize district maps.
Incumbents responded by attacking the League for not drawing its own maps. By asking citizen groups like the League to draw district maps, the Legislature is effectively asking Floridians to do its job, which is stipulated by the Constitution and funded by taxpayer dollars.
In 2002, district maps drawn by the League were not considered by the Legislature, which ultimately drew the gerrymandered districts currently in place.
The League learned that drawing district maps was a futile effort. Although we spent a significant amount of time and effort drawing maps 10 years ago, they received little attention from the Legislature. It seems ironic that some legislators are demanding we produce maps now, when in reality producing maps is solely their responsibility."
Deirdre Macnab, LWVF President
Pam Goodman, LWVF First Vice President