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From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

Federal judge finds Jefferson County’s ‘prison gerrymandering’ unconstitutional

You may have heard of gerrymandering after Florida’s Legislature was caught manipulating congressional boundaries to favor incumbents, but have you ever heard of prison gerrymandering? It’s when incarcerated prisoners who can’t vote are counted as residents by state and local officials when drawing electoral maps.  The NAACP’s Legal Defense and Educational Fund says the practice artificially inflates the population and political influence of districts where prisons are located. A federal judge ruled last week that a North Florida county must redraw its voting districts after finding that officials unconstitutionally gerrymandered districts to include state prisoners as residents. Civil liberties groups filed a lawsuit on behalf of residents against Jefferson County, alleging officials counted about 1,100 non-voting Jefferson Correction Institution inmates …
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Judge Hears Arguments on New Congressional Map

Plaintiffs say newly drawn congressional districts still favor Republicans and discourage black representation in Central Florida. But the defense argued Wednesday before a judge the new districts follow his order and asked for his approval. Leon County Circuit Judge Terry Lewis had ruled the districts unlawfully favor Republicans and ordered the Legislature to redraw them. David King is a Central Florida attorney for the League of Women Voters and other groups suing over the districts. He rejects the argument the new districts protect black representation. “That is a hollow claim when what they’re really protecting is their Republican interests, and they’re constraining more African-American representation by that approach.” King says the new map draws Democratic and black voters away from …
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