Seminole County kicks off statewide 'We Draw the Lines' tour focusing on redistricting
BY DYLAN LYONS SEMINOLE COUNTY UPDATED 1:51 PM ET AUG. 31, 2022 PUBLISHED 6:10 AM ET AUG. 31, 2022
SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. — Just a week following the primaries in Florida, voting rights groups are back out talking with voters about races that will impact their voice at the federal level.
The "We Draw The Lines" statewide tour kicked off in Seminole County on Tuesday night. The tour aims to educate voters about the state's redistricting process.
They are also focusing on the lawsuit involving Gov. Ron DeSantis and the new congressional maps.
Lowman Oliver, a 5th generation Sanford resident and Co-Chair of the 2022 Concerned Citizens Task Force Incorporated, attended the meeting. He said it is crucial for everyone to show up and understand what is going on because this new map could impact their voice at the federal level come November.
With current District 7 Representative Stephanie Murphy stepping down, the battle is heating up between Democratic nominee Karen Green and Republican nominee Cory Mills.
Oliver said with District 7 being split up into other counties, including Lake and Volusia, the minority vote and voice in Congress is now at risk and the Democratic nominee has an uphill battle for Congress.
“We don’t have no voice. Every ethnicity needs to have a voice. If you are going to exclude me with no voice, then how are you going to represent and meet the needs that I have," explained the pastor.
He said because of how the district is drawn with this new map, roughly 300,000 minority voters are being affected. Oliver added not knowing if they will have equal representation in Congress is concerning.
“We are not receiving the type of things that need to be done to help out diversity, to help out our neighborhoods, to help out our culture, to help out everything that we are due. We are still falling on the short end of the stick. We are still moving in a direction backward into a second-class citizenry," said Oliver. "That is usually what happens when you are not being treated justly and fairly.”
He believes if this continues at the federal level, it will begin to impact other state and local offices.
“It is critical, it is urgent. It is a trickle-down effect when you start looking at that. It’s not only impacting the state, but it is trickling down to our municipalities, the cities, the communities, it trickles down," Oliver said.
Officials with the Republican Party of Seminole County declined to comment about the tour stop in Sanford.
The next stop on the statewide tour is Sept. 7 in Orlando.