Fla Legislature said to be drawing Senate maps with outdated data
Mapping whiz kid Matthew Isbell takes a deep dive into the six Florida Senate base maps on his excellent site, mcimaps.com. Anybody closing following that never-ending process should check it out, but here we'll point you just to one interesting point he makes about the maps for Tampa Bay:
"The legislature has a district cross the bay from Tampa to south Pinellas in every proposal. Their argument is that this is needed to maintain the African-American seat (currently numbered the 19th) that currently exists and has existed for decades. However, the legislative staff is using out of date data. The legislative staff determine if a seat is a minority-access seat by seeing which party controls a district and checking the racial makeup of the primary of the controlling party. In this case Democrats will dominate the seat. The problem is, the staff use primary turnout data that only goes till 2010. This primary data doesn’t factor in major registration increases that took place between 2010 and 2012. While the district building software HAS BEEN UPDATED to include General election data from 2012, it was not updated on primary data. Using 2012 primary data, which followed major minority registration increases, I was able to create a district based just in Hillsborough..."
Read the whole analysis here