Elections are the cornerstone of a representative democracy. Redistricting ensures that citizens have:
- Equal representation in the U.S. House of Representatives, State Senate, and State House
- Equal opportunities to elect representatives they choose
Reapportionment vs. Redistricting
The U.S. Constitution, Article 1, Section 2 – establishes reapportionment based on a national census conducted every 10 years for allocating U.S. House of Representatives; the first census was taken in 1790.
Apportionment or Reapportionment refers to the allocation of seats among units, such as Congressional seats among the states or Legislative seats among the counties. For example, Florida was allocated two additional Congressional seats following the 2010 Census, bringing our total to 27 representatives for our 18.8 million population.
The U.S. Constitution also requires states to periodically redraw electoral district lines to account for population shifts.
Redistricting is the process of adjusting electoral district boundaries, usually in response to census results; district boundaries determine which voters can participate in electing a representative.
The Role of the Legislature
The Legislature’s role in redistricting is to redraw district lines with respect to the ideal populations for each district. The Florida House and Senate Committees on Redistricting have therefore determined the ideal populations for our 27 Congressional seats, 40 State Senate seats and 120 State House seats based on the U.S. Census population statistics for the State of Florida.
The Role of the Supervisor of Elections
Part of the Supervisor of Elections’ role in redistricting is to review and provide suggestions for the county’s Voting Tabulation Districts to the Senate Committee on Reapportionment.
The Supervisor redraws precinct lines within all districts throughout the county as needed, and submits all changes to the Board of County Commissioners fr approval.
The Supervisor is required to notify the Secretary of State within 30 days of any precinct changes and furnish a map with the precinct boundaries.