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Census May Shift Fla. Political Power South

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Florida residents will get view of how the state has changed in the past decade when the U.S. Census releases data about the Sunshine State.

Florida residents will get view of how the state has changed in the past decade when the U.S. Census releases data about the Sunshine State.

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TALLAHASSEE (CBS4) – There could be a shift in power brewing in the state of Florida based on new numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau.

According to the News Service of Florida, the Tampa Bay area is likely to be hardest hit as two congressional seats have too few voters.
On the flip side, several seats in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties will need to expand to take on new voters.

Controversial Representative David Rivera could face a completely new district when he faces voters again in 2012, if he makes it past the various scandals surrounding him. Representative Frederica Wilson’s district is also likely to change because it’s currently undersized.

The News Service of Florida reported that one area that could see a dwindling influence at the state capitol when new districts are drawn is in the Panhandle, where the GOP typically dominates elections.

More than half of the state’s 120 House districts are either overpopulated or under populated by at least 10 percent when compared to the ideal district size. Twenty-four will have to lose real estate when the districts are redrawn.

But, all of it will happen under new rules approved by voters last November, called the Fair Districts amendments.

It will also be complicated by the first Democratic administration in Washington overseeing the once-a-decade redistricting process since the approval of the Voting Rights Act, according to the NSF.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The News Service Of Florida contributed to this report.)

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