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Issue #19: Broward's Commission Redistricting Drafts are Live
All plans improve minority representation
Last month, I wrote about the redistricting process in Broward County, FL. I talked about how the current commission map does a disservice to minority voters in the county. The map is the result of politicians openly working to create seats for themselves; balance be damned. The result was the map seen below.
Things improved in 2018, when voters approved ballot measures that took the map-drawing process out of the hands of the commission and gave it to a third party organization. As a result, a team at FIU were tasked with drafting four maps; which commissioners will then chose from.
In my October article, I offered my own plan, while making the issues with the current plan known. Whatever drafts would arise would need to account for a county that has continued to grow more diverse with time.
Well, this week we got the four drafts
The Draft Proposals
The four plans are below.
All four of these plans have different nips and tucks for assorted neighborhoods and cities. All plans mark a notable improvement in minority opportunities. All plans have a majority Hispanic district, while two of the seats are majority, or near-majority black. Only one seat is majority white, with many plans having no racial group with a clear majority.
Key minority-opportunity notes
Two districts in Central Broward would be black districts
Hispanic-majority district based out of SW Broward
Black-access district in south Broward
The Voting-Age Population of the four plans can be seen below.
All four plans give black and Hispanic voters opportunities in multiple districts. Most plans are less than 50% for any race; which also reflects that much of Broward has very mixed communities with no dominant racial makeup.
Of course, as I discussed in my original post, the most critical issue here is the Democratic primary. These elections are likely to be decided in a primary for all districts outside of district 4 (which is the only seat that is not heavily Democratic - though its still a Biden-leaning seat). The 2020 Democratic primary racial makeup - overlaid with the different plans - is below.
The makeup of the 2020 Democratic primary can be found below. I delved into this in that October article, but Hispanics are still hurt by weaker primary turnout, as well as lower registration rates.
The plans all have a good share of diverse districts; which represent the diverse county.
In my October article, I also discussed the creation of a seat for the growing Caribbean population. Some of these plans do this better than others. Plan B goes a decent job grabbing Caribbean voters for District 9. The Caribbean share of the district is around 35%.
Plan D divides the Caribbean vote more between the two black districts. District 9 here would be around 31% Caribbean.
I’d say how the Caribbean population is treated in the drafts are my biggest issue. See my October article for my own ideas on drawing the central Broward region.
We have our drafts, and now the commission must pick a plan. The timeline as of this moment is December 7th for a final selection.