homepage logo

Vote yes on Amendments 5 and 6

By Staff | Oct 13, 2010

To the editor,

Claims that Florida Constitutional Amendments 5 and 6 will compromise the ability of minorities to elect the representation of their choice are purposely misleading and just plumb wrong.

The very language of the ballot amendments, in fact, guarantees the protection of the minority vote: “districts shall not be drawn with the intent or result of denying or abridging the equal opportunity of racial or language minorities to participate in the political process or to diminish their ability to elect representatives of their choice…”

By having no rules for redistricting in the Florida Constitution, politicians are simply protecting themselves. Under the current system, Florida politicians are able to draw their own legislative and congressional districts every 10 years and, in effect, choose their own voters. The resulting districts are gerrymandered: oddly shaped and designed to favor incumbents and political parties.

In addition to providing stronger protections for minority voters, Amendments 5 and 6 also prohibit politicians from designing districts to favor themselves or their parties; and require them, where possible, to make the districts more compact and community based.

If you want accountability in government, the League of Women Voters of Florida urges you to vote YES on Amendments 5 and 6 on Nov. 2.

The amendments will ensure that politicians cannot use redistricting to reduce the voting power of racial and language minorities. They will protect minority voting rights. The amendments will create districts that keep communities together and end districts that look like puzzle pieces, span hundreds of miles, and divide communities.

In addition to the League, the NAACP, AARP, Florida League of Cities, the Florida Association of Counties and Democracia Ahora support Amendments 5 and 6. Join the movement, and ensure Fair Districts in Florida by voting YES on Amendments 5 and 6.

Carla Benninga

President, League of Women Voters of Sanibel