Democrats must stand with the FL NAACP, FL League of Women Voters and Democracia Ahora and oppose this bill!
Fired Up - Ready to WIN!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 21, 2010
Contact: Deirdre Macnab (407) 415-4559
President, League of Women Voters
Citizens File Lawsuit to Remove Poison Pill, Amendment 7,
From The November Ballot
Today, the Florida NAACP, Florida League of Women Voters, and Democracia Ahora filed suit in Tallahassee, seeking the removal of a misleading ballot amendment, Amendment 7 from the November ballot.
Amendment 7 was passed in direct response to the placement of two citizen-initiated amendments on the ballot, FairDistricts Amendments 5 and 6. These two amendments will create real mandatory and enforceable standards for redistricting at the legislative and congressional level. Amendments 5 and 6 will prohibit the current practice of drawing districts to favor an incumbent or political party. By placing Amendment 7 on the ballot, a majority of the legislators proved beyond a reasonable doubt that they want to continue to use redistricting as their own personal political, incumbent protection plan.
“Amendment 7 is a sham. In placing it on the ballot, the Legislature wants the people to think it does one thing when it clearly does another. While FairDistricts Amendments 5 and 6 contain mandatory and enhanced protections for minority voters, Amendment 7 makes those protections optional. The potential impact of Amendment 7 on minority voters in the state of Florida is deeply troubling,” says Adora Obi Nweze, President of the Florida NAACP and plaintiff in the case. 2
Deirdre Macnab, State President of the Florida League of Women Voters and a fellow plaintiff says, “These legislators claim that Amendment 7 is needed to ‘clarify' provisions of the FairDistricts Amendments 5 and 6. But that claim is deceptive and false. They are just trying to hold on to their power. ”
“The present system was designed by those ‘in power'. So, it would be no surprise that those in power placed Amendment 7 on the ballot to confuse voters to try to hold on to that power,” says former State Comptroller, General Bob Milligan. Milligan is also a plaintiff in the suit.
“Our forefathers believed in responsive government and our constitution says that all political power resides in the people. The legislators want to continue drawing district lines to favor themselves. Their amendment should be off the ballot!” says plaintiff Nathaniel Reed, former Assistant Secretary of the Interior under Presidents Nixon and Ford.
“Amendment 7 serves only to confuse voters and puts the rights of minority voters at the mercy of those in power. Politicians are trying to eliminate the assurances in Fair Districts Amendments 5 and 6 that minority voting rights cannot be diminished in redistricting,” says Jorge Mursuli, President of Democracia Ahora and an individual plaintiff in the lawsuit.
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