Back and forth over redistricting leaves Duval County voters in the dark ahead of fall primary

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — North Florida’s congressional maps have changed three times in the past week due to back and forth decisions in a lawsuit challenging the map proposed by the Governor and passed by the state legislature earlier this year.

All the back and forth means some Duval residents still don’t know which district they’ll vote in during the August Primary and the election is only 98 days away.

For example, Fort Caroline Road is the dividing line between what would be Congressional District 4 and Congressional District 5 under the Governor’s map.

But as of Monday evening, the whole area is encompassed by a very different looking CD 5 as a result of the map put in place by a circuit court judge.

In the past week alone those homes have flipped districts three times.

It all started when the circuit court granted a preliminary injunction on the Governor’s map, replacing it with an alternative map proposed by the plaintiffs. Just one day later the state appealed, which triggered an automatic stay from the appellate court and put the Governor’s map back in play. But the plaintiff’s asked the circuit court judge to vacate the stay, which he did, putting the court-ordered map back in place. And it’s not over.

The state can ask the appellate court to overturn the circuit court judge, which would put his ruling on hold once again and leave the Governor’s map in place.

The end result for voters like Chris Cobb who are stuck in the middle of all this is that until there’s a resolution, they don’t know where they’ll be voting, which means they don’t know which candidates they should be learning about.

“And I follow politics pretty good and I had no idea that it was flipped that many times and I would have been kind of shocked if I had showed up thinking I’m showing up to vote for somebody and they’re like uh, this ain’t the right district. I’d have been a little upset,” said Cobb.

Plaintiffs in the lawsuit have asked for the case to be expedited to the Florida Supreme Court.

If the court agrees and takes up the case, whatever opinion it renders will settle the dispute over the maps one way or the other, at least for the 2022 election cycle.