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Florida Rising: Under DeSantis Plan, Black Voters Would Have Had Steeper Climb Electing Candidates of Choice

For Immediate Release

May 12, 2022

ORLANDO, Fla. – On Wednesday, May 11, a Leon County circuit judge issued a preliminary injunction barring implementation of parts of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ newly drawn congressional map. Judge Layne Smith noted the map was unconstitutional under the Fair District amendment because it would prevent African Americans from electing candidates of choice. Florida Rising, a plaintiff in a lawsuit brought by the National Redistricting Foundation, issued the following statement in response:

“The practice of joining districts to favor one political party over another skews election results and deeply hurts communities of color by restricting access to free and fair elections. For far too long and from every angle, Black voting power has been attacked,” said Moné Holder, senior director of advocacy and programs at Florida Rising. “On Wednesday, the court fulfilled their duty to make this right.”

“From the outset, this process has been fraught,” Holder said. “State legislatures typically draw district lines, but Gov. DeSantis drew his own lines. Were his map enacted, Black voters would have faced an even steeper climb in electing candidates of choice. Politicians should not be permitted to draw districts that allow them to stay in power by silencing voters.”

The way district lines are drawn impacts communities’ future. The drawing of districts gives local people a say in their representatives and determines the resources communities receive – the resources include funding for schools, parks, libraries, hospitals and social services.

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