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Florida's redistricting effort -- can it truly be unbiased?

Congressional districtsAs Florida legislators struggled last week to draw a congressional district map that meets a court mandate, it became clear that what they would end up with would be far from perfect.

"Bring me a redistricting commission or something, for goodness sakes," exclaimed Sen. Tom Lee, R-Brandon, as lawmakers convened for the second special session to revise a congressional redistricting plan that had been rejected by the court. "Bring me something that works!"

Redistricting reformers thought they had found a better way when they persuaded 63 percent of Florida's voters in 2010 to approve the "Fair District" amendments to the Florida Constitution that outlawed gerrymandering and banned lawmakers from intentionally drawing districts that favor or disfavor incumbents or political parties.

But taking politics out of the most political of acts turned out not to be so easy.

Now, lawmakers are in the midst of a second special session to redraw the congressional map for the third time.

So, up against this political angst, what does it take to create a politically unbiased map? Story here.