Counties Might Reduce Number of Voting Precincts

Under Fla. Stat. 101.001, the board of county commissioners in each county, upon recommendation of the supervisor of elections, can create or alter voting precincts in the county.  Several supervisors of elections in Florida have recommended that the number of precincts in their counties be reduced, ostensibly as a cost saving measure. A reduction in precincts would correspondingly reduce the number of polling places.  This article in the Sarasota Herald Tribune describes the reduction of precincts that might occur in Sarasota and Manatee counties.  Whether the reduction in precincts will be challenged will likely depend upon if the changes comply with the boundary requirements of Fla Stat 101.001(3), or whether the reduction will disproportionately impact minority neighborhoods or areas that generally lean toward one party. 

Thomas D. Shults, Esq.

About Thomas D. Shults, Esq.

Tom Shults is a Florida Bar Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer. He has represented clients in election and sunshine law issues, complex business and commercial disputes and probate and trust suits. He was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1983 and has maintained an active trial practice in state and federal courts for over 35 years. Mr. Shults successfully represented the Sarasota Alliance for Fair Elections in Sarasota Alliance for Fair Elections et al. v. Browning et al. , where the Florida Supreme Court ruled on the constitutionality of Sarasota County’s charter election law amendments. Mr. Shults has served on the Professional Ethics Committee of The Florida Bar and is the past Chairman of the Code and Rules of Evidence Committee of The Florida Bar. He is a recipient of the Distinguished Community Service Award of the Sarasota County Bar Association for his work with the Sarasota Mental Health Community Centers. In 2013 he was nominated for circuit court judge by the 12th Circuit Judicial Nominating Committee. Mr. Shults has served on the faculty of the Kessler-Eidson Program for Trial Techniques at Emory University School of Law and on the faculty of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy Program for Practicing Lawyers at Nova Southeastern University School of Law. Mr. Shults grew up in St. Petersburg, Florida and is a graduate of St. Petersburg High School (1973), Florida State University (B.S. 1977) and Washburn University School of Law (J.D. cum laude 1982). He is veteran of the United States Army.
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