Democrats preparing for GOP gerrymandering in Florida
Democrats in Tallahassee are worried their Republican counterparts in the legislature will return to their partisan gerrymandering ways at their next opportunity, now that the Florida Supreme Court majority has shifted this year to conservative from liberal.
But GOP lawmakers told the Orlando Sentinel they do not have designs on drawing districts for the coming decade that are aggressively shaped to perpetuate their political strength.
How the state's top court views partisan mapmaking could be crucial now that the U.S. Supreme Court has turned the regulation of such behavior over to the states.
The current state Senate and congressional maps were remade in 2015 after a state judge said the old lines violated state requirements that district boundaries follow city and county contours as much as possible. The GOP nonetheless holds a 23 to 17 majority in the state Senate and a 14 to 13 edge in the U.S. House delegation, the third-biggest on Capitol Hill. Florida's growth means it's sure to get at least one, and maybe two, additional congressional seats for the 2020s.
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A top issue on the democracy reform agenda — protecting elections against both disinformation and cyber hacking — is getting some unusual attention this week in the Democratic presidential campaign.
Amy Klobuchar, arguably at the top of the second tier of candidates given her rising support in Iowa, went to Atlanta on Monday to highlight her efforts in the Senate to enhance election security and to unveil some additional proposals.
The choice of location made sense for two reasons. She and nine other Democrats will meet in the city Wednesday night for their latest in a series of debates where the governing system's problems have so far received short shrift. And Georgia has emerged as the most prominent state where bolstering voting rights and election integrity have become a top priority of the Democratic establishment.
The latest effort to ease restrictions on voting through litigation is a challenge to Mississippi's requirement that naturalized citizens show proof of their citizenship when they register.
The lawsuit, filed Monday by the Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance, says the law is unconstitutional because it violates of the 14th Amendment's equal protection clause by treating one category of citizens differently from another. People born in the United States need only check a box on the state's registration form attesting they are citizens.
The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, which helped bring the suit, says Mississippi is the only state with a unique mandate for would-be voters who were not born American citizens.