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U.S. Justice Department approves Florida's maps

State officials on April 30 cleared the final two hurdles needed to put their new redistricting maps into effect, setting the stage for candidates to qualify for office using the state's new political boundaries. Read more here

Analysis of the approved maps

These maps drawn by the staff of the Senate and House show how the Republican-led Legislature tackled new requirements imposed by voters who approved constitutional Amendments 5 and 6 in 2010.

U.S. House

27 districts

Proposed plan H000C9001 by the Florida House.

Florida State Senate

40 districts

Proposed plan by the Florida Senate.

About our analysis

Lawmakers legally may use political data such as election results or voter registration when drawing the new voting boundaries, but the Senate chose not to include it when drawing its maps as a response to new constitutional requirements that ban legislators from protecting incumbents. The House used political data to draw its maps. That kind of public data helps show how those districts will perform in future elections, so the Times uses it for our analysis, as well.

From the Florida House's redistricting site, MyDistrictBuilder, we downloaded 2008 and 2010 general election results and 2010 voter registration figures. As lawmakers release and revise the maps, we will sort that data by each new district.

In many cases, minority voter registration numbers are lower than the number of minorities in a district who are old enough to vote. But lawmakers, and courts, can only consider the latter category.

For political data, we focused on the 2008 presidential race and the 2010 governor election. If a Democrat won a proposed new district in both years, it is colored blue. If a Republican won both races that district turns red. Green-colored districts switched parties. We also show the margin of victory in each potential district.

Questions about our analysis? Contact Times News Artist Darla Cameron.

About the redistricting process

Florida's Constitution requires the Legislature to convene in the "second year following the decennial census" to reapportion the state in the Senate and House districts and congressional districts. The task seems simple enough: To logically divide the state's
18.8 million residents into 120 House districts, 40 Senate districts and 27 congressional districts. But the process is often fraught with controversy, and almost certain to spawn legal challenges. The Legislature's deadline to draw the new maps is March 9, 2012. But the political fight could drag on for most of the summer.

What districts do you live in currently?

Use MyLawmaker to find your current home district. Enter your Florida address into the box below.

Redistricting public hearings

Public officials held a series of town-hall style meetings across the state to hear from residents about the redistricting process during the summer of 2011.

Meeting recaps

Location Date News coverage
Tallahassee Mon., June 20 Times/Herald: Florida redistricting meetings
start with many questions, few answers
Pensacola Tues., June 21 Times/Herald: In Florida Panhandle, legislators
budefend political redistricting time line
St. Augustine Tues., July 12 The St. Augustine Record: Slap of redistricting reality
The Villages Wed., July 13 Orlando Sentinel: The Villages residents hear about
redistricting plans
Wesley Chapel Tues., July 26 Times: Lawmakers hear from Wesley
Chapel voters on redistricting
Orlando Wed., July 27 Sentinel: Leaders hear call for
minority seat in Congress
Boca Raton Tues., Aug. 16 Sun-Sentinel: Critics pack Legislature's
hearings on districts
Miami Wed., Aug. 17 Miami Herald: Committee hears pleas from cities, minorities
South Miami Wed., Aug. 17 Miami Herald: SAVE Dade 'demands
LGBT voters be considered'
Tampa Mon., Aug. 29 Times: Dozens of speakers have their say
as legislative redistricting tour comes to Tampa
Largo Tues., Aug. 30 Times: Pinellas County residents criticize
legislative redistricting process

Other redistricting resources

State redistricting committees

More politics coverage

  • PolitiFact.com: Sorting out the truth in national politics.
  • PolitiFact Florida: Fact-finding in Sunshine State politics.
  • Florida politics: Recent coverage from the St. Petersburg Times and tampabay.com.
  • The Buzz: Political blog of the St. Petersburg Times.
  • Naked Politics: Political blog of the Miami Herald.
  • Bay Buzz: Local politics from Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco and Hernando counties.

Recent stories

Redistricting posts from The Buzz politics blog

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