Florida

Overview

Florida Redistricting Process

Congressional

Congressional maps are enacted by the State Legislature. The Governor can veto the plans.

The Legislature can override a veto with a two-thirds vote. No party currently has a veto-proof majority in either chamber.

Legislative

Legislative maps are enacted by the State Legislature and passed as a joint resolution. The Governor cannot veto the plans.

Passed legislative maps are sent to the state Supreme Court, where the plan is assessed to ensure its legality. If the Court does not approve the legislative maps, the Legislature gets one more chance to create a map. If the Legislature fails a second time, the state’s Attorney General instructs the Court to complete the maps. This process only applies to legislative lines.

Source: Fla. Const. art. III, §§ 16, 20, 21.


Previous Redistricting Cycles

2010

  • Congressional
    • Original PlanSB 1174
      • Passed = February 9, 2012 (R-controlled)
      • Signed = February 16, 2012
      • Preclearance = Granted on April 30, 2012
    • Litigation History
      • League of Women Voters of Fla. v. Detzner I, 172 So.3d 363 (Fla. 2015): On July 10, 2014, a Florida state court ruled that certain districts in the General Assembly’s congressional plan were drawn with unconstitutional partisan intent in violation of the Florida Constitution’s Fair Districts Amendment and ordered they be redrawn, but allowed the original map to be used for the 2014 election. In 2014, the General Assembly passed its second plan, SB 2-A, but on July 9, 2015, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that additional districts in the original map violated the Fair Districts Amendment and ordered an entirely new map to be drawn for use in the 2016 election.
        • Legislature’s 2nd PlanSB 2-A
          • Passed = August 11, 2014 (R-controlled)
          • Signed = August 13, 2014
          • Rejected by Florida Supreme Court on July 9, 2015
      • League of Women Voters of Fla. v. Detzner II, 179 So.3d 258 (Fla. 2015): After the Florida Supreme Court ordered a new congressional map be redrawn for use in the 2016 election, the Legislature failed to agree on a new map. On December 2, 2015, the Florida Supreme Court adopted its own remedial congressional map for use starting in the 2016 elections.
      • Brown v. Detzner, No. 4:15-cv-398 (N.D. Fla. April 18, 2016): Plaintiffs, African-American voters in Florida, challenged the configuration of District 5 in the Florida Supreme Court’s adopted congressional plan as a racial gerrymander in violation of the 14th and 15th Amendments and as violating Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. On April 18, 2016, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida ruled in favor of the defendants on the grounds the plaintiffs had failed to prove their claims.
  • Legislative
    • Original PlansSJR 1176
      • Passed = February 9, 2012 (R-controlled)
      • Signed = February 10, 2012
      • Florida Supreme Court approved House districts, rejected Senate districts on March 9, 2012.
    • Revised Senate Plan (SJR 2-B) Adopted = March 27, 2012
    • Litigation History
      • In re Senate Joint Res. Of Leg. Apportionment 1176, 83 So.3d 597 (Fla. 2012): Pursuant to the Florida Supreme Court’s mandated review of the Legislature’s adopted legislative plans, the court approved the adopted House districts plan but rejected the adopted Senate districts plan on the grounds it violated the Florida Constitution’s redistricting requirements. The court ordered the Legislature to adopt a new senate districts plan.
      • In re Senate Joint Res. of Leg. Apportionment 2-B, 89 So.3d 872 (Fla. 2012): After the original senate plan was rejected, the Legislature passed a revised Senate plan on March 27, 2012. On April 27, 2012, the Florida Supreme Court approved the revised Senate plan.
        • Revised Senate Plan = SJR 2-B
          • Passed = March 27, 2012 (R-controlled)
          • Signed = March 27, 2012
          • Approved = April 27, 2012
      • League of Women Voters of Fla. v. Detzner, No. 2012-ca-2842 (Fla. Cir. Ct. Dec. 30, 2015): In a challenge to the Legislature’s revised Senate plan under the Florida Constitution’s Fair Districts Amendment, the Legislature stipulated that the plan violated the Fair Districts Amendment and consented to a judgment invalidating the revised plan. The Legislature failed to agree on a remedial senate plan, so on December 30, 2015, the Florida circuit court ordered the adoption of a proposed remedial plan, CPS-4a.

2000

  • Congressional
    • Original Plans = HB 1993 (R-controlled)
    • Original PlansHB 1993
      • Passed = March 22, 2002 (R-controlled)
      • Signed = March 27, 2002
      • Preclearance = Granted on June 7, 2002
    • Litigation History
      • Martinez v. Bush, 234 F.Supp.2d 1275 (S.D. Fla. 2002): Plaintiffs challenged the Florida Legislature’s enacted congressional and legislative plans as a partisan gerrymander in violation of the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause and as diluting the voting strength of African-American voters in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. On December 3, 2002, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida ruled in favor of the defendants on the grounds the plaintiffs failed to sufficiently establish violations of the U.S. Constitution or federal law.
  • Legislative
    • Original PlansHB 1987
      • Passed = March 22, 2002 (R-controlled)
      • Signed = March 28, 2002
      • Preclearance = Granted as to Senate plan on June 20, 2002; Denied as to House plan.
    • Revised House PlanHB 25-E
      • Passed = October 24, 2003 (R-controlled)
      • Signed = October 30, 2003
      • Preclearance = Granted on February 2, 2004
    • Litigation History
      • In re Constitutionality of Resolution 1987, 817 So.2d 819 (Fla. 2002): Pursuant to the mandated state Supreme Court review of the Legislature’s adopted legislative redistricting plans, the Florida Supreme Court approved the Legislature’s adopted legislative maps on May 3, 2002.
      • Martinez v. Bush, No. 2-20244-CIV (S.D. Fla. July 9, 2002): This case was pending when the Legislature’s first adopted house districts plan was denied preclearance by the DOJ. On July 9, 2002, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida granted the Florida House Speaker’s motion requesting that the court enact the Speaker’s proposed remedial house plan as an interim plan for use in the 2002 elections.
      • In re Constitutionality of House Joint Resolution 25E, 863 So.2d 1176 (Fla. 2003): After the Florida Legislature adopted its revised House Plan (HB 25-E), which was identical to the interim plan adopted by the Martinez district court, the Florida Supreme Court approved the plan pursuant to the mandated review of adopted legislative plans under the Florida Constitution.

Ballot Measure Process

Kinds of Ballot Measures
Initiatives and referendums are not permitted to amend statutes. Direct initiatives are permitted to amend the state Constitution. Legislatively initiated ballot measures may amend the Constitution, but not statutes.

Single-Subject Rule
There is a single-subject rule, except for measures that limit the power of the government to tax.

Initiative Subject Restrictions
There are no initiative subject restrictions.

Signature Requirements
The signature requirement for constitutional amendments is 8% of the votes cast in each of one half of the congressional districts of the state, and of the state as a whole in the last preceding election in which presidential electors were chosen. 11,144,855 people voted in the 2020 General Election in Florida, so 891,589 signatures statewide are required for constitutional amendments. Separate numbers are required for each district (8% of the votes cast in the last General Election for each district).

Submission Deadlines
Signatures must be verified by February 1 of the year they are to appear on the ballot (February 1, 2020).

Circulation Period
The circulation period for initiative petitions is two years.

Ballot Title and Summary
The Ballot Title and Summary are written by the proponent, subject to approval by the Secretary of State. Expedited reviews for Titles and Summaries are not permitted.

Other Requirements
A fiscal impact statement is required. To amend the Constitution, 60% of voters must approve the measure. The Legislature can repeal an approved measure through the normal process for amending the Constitution. A three-fifths supermajority vote from each chamber of the Legislature is required to send the amendment to voters. Initiatives are permitted on general election ballots, but not on primary, special, or odd-year election ballots.

Source: Fla. Const. art. XI. Fla. Stat. § 9.100.371 (2019). Florida Division of Elections Website


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