Yesterday in Tallahassee, Senate President Sen. Wilton Simpson (R) sent a memorandum to all Florida State Senators in regard to new census data and how it plays into the 2022 midterm elections. Simpson has apparently been prioritizing a transparent redistricting process.
In his letter, Senator Simpson set the tone for redistricting this election cycle, suggesting Senators should “take care” while drawing up maps for their constituents.
“As we move forward, Senators should take care to insulate themselves from interests that may intentionally or unintentionally attempt to inappropriately influence the redistricting process,” stated Sen. Simpson.
In fact, Simpson cited regulations and statutes in order to ensure that redistricting stays pure for Florida voters. “Senators should continue to adhere to the records retention policy as directed by Art. I, s. 24 of the Florida Constitution, s. 11.0431, F.S., and Senate Rule 1.48.” Adding “Senators and staff should also be mindful that correspondence, emails, texts, and other electronic communications related to the enactment of new districts, whether sent or received on official Senate accounts or devices or personal email accounts or devices, may be of permanent or archival value and those records should be preserved accordingly.”
As redistricting only occurs once every 10 years, Simpson is apparently prioritizing public communication. The Senate President claims that the Senate staff is currently “developing an informational presentation that Senators will be able to use to communicate with their constituents and at public events and speaking engagements.” And “The presentation will include information about the history of reapportionment, the timeline and process, and opportunities for appropriate public participation. In the meantime, a draft constituent reply is attached for your reference and use in customizing a response to inquiries on the 2022 redistricting process.”
With political stakes higher than ever in American and Florida politics, expect redistricting to be a big talking point across Florida this election season. It may just cost one party their power.