City Commission Election Districts: (Geographic) Rationality and Reality in a Florida Context


  • Ronald R. Schultz Department of Geosciences, Florida Atlantic University


Election districts --Florida --Miami-Dade County, Broward County (Fla.) --Administrative and political divisions --Maps, Local elections, School districts --Florida, Geographic information systems, United States. Voting Rights Act of 1965


The establishment and maintenance of election or representation districts within counties and cities has its supporters and its detractors. Citizens, elected city and county comn1issioners or council members, scholars, and political operatives have been discussing the pros and cons of local government election or representation districts since the founding of the country. Whether called wards, parishes, or city council or commission districts, they exist across the nation at the local government level. Historically, local government districts, such as wards and even counties, were core building blocks for state and federal election districts. With the growth of computing technology, especially the widespread adoption of geographic information systems (GIS), along with court support for the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and its amendments, the former political unit hierarchical structure is no longer the operative model.