Florida legislature approves redistricting map amid protests

New map increases Florida’s GOP representation, slashes Black representation in Congress by half, critics say
Posted at 8:32 PM, Apr 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-21 20:32:40-04

Republicans continued to vote in favor of the congressional map redrawn by Gov. Ron DeSantis after he vetoed the Florida Legislature's previous map.

The move outraged Black lawmakers in Tallahassee and prompted many to stage a sit-in Thursday.

“The map was drawn by the Governor and his staff and it was handed to the legislature and it removed two of the four black leaning congressional districts,” said Brian Crowley, a political analyst for WPTV.

Gov. Ron DeSantis recently vetoed congressional redistricting maps passed during the regular session, prompting this week’s special session.

The new boundaries carve up the congressional districts in North and Central Florida.

Analysts believe the governor’s version of the map could net Republicans four congressional seats. Critics said the move also weakens the minority vote.

“He's certainly not doing the black community any favors by reducing their influence in Congress,” said Crowley.

The decision is considered worrisome for Cinthia Becton, a voter in Riviera Beach.

“You don't need to be passing laws that makes it difficult for people to vote,” said Becton. “I see this situation in 2022. Where we're going backwards. That's discouraging.”

Becton remembers voting at a time when discriminatory voting practices were prevalent, and the Black community faced barriers between the ballot box.

Improvements finally came in 1965 when President Lyndon B. Johnson passed the Voting Rights Act, but the Supreme Court under Justice John Roberts has reversed much of its effect.

Becton says her fears about voter suppression still linger.

“I've done the marching,” said Becton. “I've done the sit-ins. I've done all of that. I paid my dues.”