In an email to House members and staff late Sunday, House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, acknowledged that he and Senate President Don Gaetz have called members into session starting Thursday, Aug. 7 "for the sole and exclusive purpose of reapportioning Florida's Congressional Districts" but he warned of the problems of applying the changes to this year's elections.
Leon County Circuit Judge Terry Lewis on Friday ordered lawmakers to revise their congressional redistricting map to fix two districts he had previously ordered unconstitutional — those held by U.S. Reps. Corrine Brown, D-Jacksonville, and Dan Webster, R-Winter Garden.
Lewis gave the Legislature until Aug. 15 to fix the map and said he was considering calling a special election after the Nov. 4 general election for the affected districts. He called for an Aug. 20 hearing to allow lawyers for the plaintiffs in the case, a group of voting organizations, and the defendants, the GOP-led Legislature, to present their arguments on what the court should decide.
"We continue to maintain our strong objection to any attempt to disrupt the current election process. Florida’s Supervisors of Elections have raised serious concerns over changing the elections process at this late date,'' Weatherford wrote.
"The NAACP also pointed out in their response to Judge Lewis that, “In a special election, get-out-the-vote infrastructure simply does not exist. Voters who face challenges to political participation – be it financial, job scheduling, transportation, or other impediments – will be irreparably harmed by conducting the election at a time where that infrastructure does not exist.”
Here's Weatherford's email: