Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill implementing a new, controversial congressional redistricting map for the state. DeSantis said he signed it early Friday at the state’s capitol, before traveling to Hialeah Gardens.
This comes after voting rights groups filed a lawsuit against the state over the new congressional map. Those groups include the League of Women Voters of Florida, the Black Voters Matter Capacity Building Institute, Equal Ground Education Fund among others. The lawsuit alleges the new map violates the Florida Constitution by diluting the electoral power of minorities. It also states the map was drawn up to benefit one political party over another.
The House passed the congressional map on Thursday, the last day of the special session. It passed as Democratic lawmakers of color staged a protest on the chamber floor. The governor’s office has stated the map is neutral on race and party affiliation.
The Florida congressional delegation now has 16 Republicans and 11 Democrats, and the state is poised to gain one U.S. House seat based on the results of the 2020 U.S. census. Many political observers have said the DeSantis map could give Republicans a 20-8 advantage, though Florida’s vast number of unaffiliated voters can swing elections. Such an advantage would help DeSantis, should he run for and win the White House in 2024.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.