Redistricting could mean special elections

By Jim Piggott, General assignment reporter, jpiggott@wjxt.com
Published On: Aug 06 2014 12:17:57 PM EDT
Updated On: Aug 05 2014 02:19:54 PM EDT
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

There could be two special elections after the November election in questionable congressional districts as a result of a recent court ruling ordering the state to redraw the districts because of gerrymandering.

The ruling also has election officials confused about what may happen with the upcoming primary. Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland said he talk to the secretary of state, trying to get some clarification. Holland doesn't believe the state would move the general election in November, but has come up with some alternatives that will still be discussed.

Holland believes at this point the state will count the Aug. 26 primary results this month.

Tuesday afternoon, he will talk with other supervisors from around the state in a conference call to see what could possibly be worked out.

"There is no doubt Judge Lewis has ruled the districts were unconstitutionally drawn," Holland said. "He is trying to find a remedy for 2014. There is the possibility we could have some special elections following November to rectify that. Right now we have to go with the official ballot given to us by the state."

That continues to raise issues. For example, holding elections after November means congressional seats may not be filled until later next year. Is that constitutional? That's one issue a judge will have to decide.

The Legislature will meet this week to redraw the maps. Once that is done, it will set a plan in place that has to be accepted by the judge. There is also the chance that the district could remain the same for this term and redrawn during the next two years.

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