State Lawmakers Admit To Destroying Redistricting Records

Dec 20, 2013


Some state lawmakers are in hot water. Florida House and Senate Republican leaders admitted in court filings this week they destroyed documents related to their redistricting effort in 2012.

News of the destroyed records follow last week’s ruling from the Florida Supreme Court saying legislators would have to testify and turn over documents relating to the re-drawn congressional and legislative maps.

This adds fuel to an ongoing legal battle about whether state legislators followed a constitutional amendment that prohibits them from drawing politically-advantageous districts.

The League of Women Voters of Florida – as well as other voting rights groups—have been fighting the Legislature in court since the maps were first released.

League President Deirdre Macnab said she’s disappointed the records are gone.

“Given the frequent statements that legislative leaders made that they thought litigation was, in their words, almost inevitable—it is frankly almost unbelievable that documents were destroyed,” she said.

Macnab said she has a legal team looking into what next steps need to be taken and what this means for the League’s case.

According to The Orlando Sentinel, the groups notified a Leon County court Wednesday that they “intended to place House and Senate officials under oath to find out what documents were destroyed and why.”

If a judge determines lawmakers did draw districts for partisan gain, they may have to re-draw Florida's districts before the 2014 election.