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State News

Florida Redistricting Trial Winds Down, Expected To End Tomorrow

This is a close-up of the Florida congressional district map.
Lynn Hatter
/
WFSU News

The Florida redistricting trial started to wind down Tuesday afternoon as the Legislature put its final witnesses on the stand for defense.

Florida Senate Staff Director John Guthrie took the stand, claiming lawmakers drew new district boundaries to empower minority voters, and they were not a result of gerrymandering by the Republican Party, as plaintiffs accuse.

“What our interest was, is coming up with districts that preserved the opportunity of minorities and maybe enhanced the opportunity of minorities to elect candidates of their own choosing and to create districts that follow political and geographic boundaries where feasible, and are compact,” Guthrie says.

The trial is expected to end tomorrow with both the plaintiffs and defense possibly making their closing arguments. Circuit Judge Terry Lewis says he will rule before the end of the month, but he expects his verdict to be appealed either way.