Second Senate map sent to Justice Department for pre-clearance

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The second draft of new maps for the state Senate were submitted Friday to the U.S. Justice Department for “pre-clearance” under the Voting Rights Act. In a memo contained with the filing, the state argued that the plan easily complies with the act. “There cannot be any serious issue concerning discriminatory purpose in the covered counties,” the memo says. “The minority districts there largely followed the districts recommended by civil-rights groups and materially preserved the ability of minority voters in those counties to elect their preferred candidates.” The submission should give the Justice Department the full 60 days it has under the Voting Rights Act to review the proposal before candidate qualifying begins. Any changes to Florida elections law must be considered by the federal agency or a federal court before going into effect in five counties with a history of racial discrimination. Maps for the House were submitted March 13.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.