Senator Stewart, District 13 — Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 14, 2022
Update on Congressional Redistricting Special Session
Orlando, FL – With the upcoming special session beginning next week, Senator Linda Stewart (D-Orlando) recently reviewed the new congressional map produced by the office of the Governor.
“I am skeptical about how much of the tier one standards the Governor’s office took into consideration with this new map. We see multiple districts broken up and redrawn to configurations similar to those tossed out by the courts after the last redistricting cycle,” said Stewart.
There are two tiers of guidelines, along with federal law, that direct lawmakers while producing maps. Tier 1 criteria:
- No apportionment plan or district shall be drawn with the intent to favor or disfavor a political party or an incumbent.
- Districts shall not be drawn with the intent or result of denying or abridging the equal opportunity of racial or language minorities to participate in the political process or to diminish their ability to elect representatives of their choice – no racial gerrymandering.
Tier 2 criteria (must be followed unless doing so would conflict with the Tier one standards or federal law):
- Districts shall consist of contiguous territory.
- Districts shall be as nearly equal in population as is practicable.
- Districts shall be compact.
- District lines shall, where feasible, follow existing political and geographical boundaries.
“I think the original maps submitted to the Governor followed the guidelines we had set in place by the voters, and produced seats that fairly represented their constituents. It was emphasized in committee not only the above thresholds to achieve, but that there is a 1% deviation in population among districts. The maps produced by the legislature achieved the above listed tiers and federal requirements. We listened to input, we made changes where appropriate, and were still able to achieve what I considered a non-partisan redistricting map. We had a process that was followed and now we are entering a process that has not been the case for drawing maps. We are even looking at a potential trial on May 12th over these maps because of this impasse. We need less of a political redo and more plain fair maps,” said Stewart.