JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Branch of the NAACP and the other civil rights groups involved in the city of Jacksonville redistricting lawsuit have filed a motion asking a federal judge to order special elections for Duval County School Board Districts 4 and 6, in 2024.
Those seats were just up for election in 2022, and ordinarily would not be up for election until 2026, but they are asking for elections next year as a result of redistricting.
The 2022 school board elections were held under the old maps because it was too close to when the new maps were being finalized, the result of a lawsuit involving those same civil rights groups.
Board member Darryl Willie was reelected in District 4 and board member Charlotte Joyce was reelected in District 6 last year.
In the motion, the plaintiffs argue that when the judge blocked the maps approved by the city council, the judge said they were “substantially the same” as the maps approved in 2011. Those are the maps that the school board election was based on.
So they argue that in order to remedy the gerrymandering from the old maps, new school board elections need to be held sooner for those two districts, because the city council districts that make up those school board districts, were changed significantly.
They also say that because of the way they were redrawn, 27% of the population in the new school board District 4 have never had a chance to vote for their current representative because they were part of a different district. In the new School Board District 6, 30% of the population has never had a chance to vote for their current representative.
They argue that since they are proposing that the special elections be held in 2024 (August/November), at the same time as other school board elections, it wouldn’t be a significant disruption.
The recently-finalized redistricting settlement between the groups and the city left the door open for the motion to be filed.