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Florida to Accept YouTube, Twitter, Facebook Comments on Redistricting

November 1, 2011 - 7:00pm

Redistricting efforts in Florida are going to use social media for public comment.

Senate President-elect Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, said once the proposed committee bills are submitted with the potential new state House, Senate and congressional lines, lawmakers will seek public comment on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, email or mail.

The Florida Channel has agreed to develop an extended presentation of all the input.

The committee will also have a meeting Dec. 6 where residents can provide comment the old-fashioned way: in person.

Our goal is to make sure if you are anywhere in Florida, and if you have access to a postage stamp, to a telephone, to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, or any of the media that we described, that you would have a way for us to have the benefit of your input, said Gaetz, who also sits as chairman of the Senate Redistricting Committee.

We will make those comments, regardless how we receive them, available to all members of the committee.

Gaetz said the idea is to avoid having public hearings where people have to wait hours just to give a few minutes' comment.

The state Redistricting Committee hosted public hearings throughout the state during the summer to gather peoples comments on where to redraw the lines using the 2010 U.S. Census numbers.

Florida is also picking up two congressional seats because of its increased population since 2000.

Critics of the hearings often pointed out that the presentations should have been held after the maps were prepared to go before the Legislature.

Gaetz said the proposed redistricting maps should be ready for public comment the last week in November.

The state has received 156 proposals on how the boundary lines should be redrawn for the different districts. The deadline was Tuesday.

A decade ago, the state received four public proposals.

Reach Jim Turner at or (850) 727-0859.

Reach Jim Turner at or at (850) 727-0859 or (772) 215-9889.

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