Florida Redistricting Emails Leaked Early

Nov 24, 2014

Florida's Congressional District 5 was one of two found unconstitutional earlier this year. It was altered during a special legislative session, but voting rights groups don't think the changes went far enough.
Credit nationalatlas.gov via wikimedia commons

Over the weekend The Naples Daily News got more than 500 pages of documents relating to Florida’s redistricting scandal.  State officials had originally planned to release the documents on the first of December.  The Florida Supreme Court voted unanimously to unseal the papers earlier this month.

The documents – a long trail of emails between GOP consulting firm Data Targeting, and various state officials – show efforts to draw the state’s district maps in order to benefit the Republican Party.  There are discussions explicitly referencing the need to obscure the firm’s input in the process. 

Ironically one email points to the importance of speaking over the phone instead of via email. 

Data Targeting made a last minute appeal to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas asking that the documents remain sealed but Thomas chose not to act on it. 

The next step in Florida’s redistricting case is the state Supreme Court.  The voting rights groups that brought the original, successful challenge will argue the revised map made in last summer’s special Legislative session does not adequately address violations of Florida’s fair districts amendment. 

Oral argument in the case is set for March 4 next year.