The Florida legislature announced Tuesday it will not appeal a court decision finding the state’s congressional districts unconstitutional. Legislative leaders are now asking for permission to conduct this year’s election according to existing boundaries.
In a joint statement, House Speaker Will Weatherford and Senate President Don Gaetz argue it’s too late in the current election cycle to alter Florida’s district lines. Some of their opponents agree. The Hispanic rights group National Council of La Raza, was a plaintiff in the case challenging Florida’s 2012 redistricting effort. The group’s spokesman Matthew McClellan is disappointed about the timing, but says he’s hopeful for the next election.
“While it’s unfortunate that this couldn’t have happened a year ago, and we couldn’t have the fair and just districts in play for this election cycle, it’s good that going forward we will,” McClellan says.
Weatherford and Gaetz point out absentee ballots for servicemen and women were printed and sent last week in accordance with federal law. They claim any change now would lead to “chaos and confusion.”