The districts were drawn more fairly than ever before but are still not fully compliant with the law. The biggest difference can be seen in the state House map which, although not perfect, is the one that best complied with the new rules. The districts are more compact and keep cities and counties together more than before. But most importantly, there were historically high numbers of competitive races – seventeen to be exact! That is more than three times the number of close races than after the 2002 redistricting. And another ten districts were drawn so that they could have been competitive if more than one party had fielded candidates to run for those seats. This is the highest level of competitiveness seen in modern House races.
In contrast, in the 2012 Senate elections we saw only one race that was won by a small margin. Congress was not much better -- only three seats were won by margins of under 6 points.
In the presidential election Florida proved once again that it is an evenly divided state. Our Congressional delegation and our Legislature more closely reflect the preferences of Florida voters and no party now holds a supermajority in either house of the Legislature. But the Senate and Congressional maps are still infected with intentional bias.
The high level of competitiveness in the House map could lead to more electoral fairness. But litigation needs to be continued on the Senate and the Congressional maps in order to increase competitiveness and decrease partisan bias in those maps.
Click here to see news coverage of the elections as they related to the FairDistricts Amendments.