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JACKSONVILLE – Duval County Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland’s office received Leon County Judge Terry Lewis’ order that the remedial redistricting map passed by the Florida legislature “adequately addresses the constitutional deficiencies” of the previous map and the map will be effective for the 2016 election cycle. Current congressional elections underway now for the 2014 election cycle will be conducted under the old map just as they had been for the 2012 federal elections.
“We are pleased the judge reviewed the election schedule submitted by the Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections representing supervisors for all of Florida. As supervisors, we stand up for the rights of the voters and are united to ensure fair, secure, transparent and accurate elections. Never before have supervisors been asked to consider redrawing election lines in the middle of an ongoing election. To rush or haphazardly conduct our elections would risk disenfranchisement particularly of our military voters, creating mass voter confusion, violating elections laws and transparency requirements, and compromising the integrity of our elections,” said Jerry Holland, Supervisor of Elections for Duval County, Florida and President of the Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections.
In his order, the Judge noted, “The Legislature is not required, however, to produce a map that the Plaintiffs, or I, or anyone else might prefer. The Legislature is only required to produce a map that meets the requirements of the Constitution. My ‘duty’ is not to select the best plan but rather to decide whether the one adopted by the legislature is valid.”
As far as whether or not to have the map effective for the 2014 elections, to hold special elections or to have the map effective for 2016 he judge had this to say, “An election in 2015 is not a viable option… Accordingly, based on the evidentiary record before me, I conclude that a special election under the remedial map is not an appropriate remedy under the circumstances.”