Florida Senate: Ping Pong Balls Lack Gravitational Integrity

A Senate Committee in Tallahassee played redistricting bingo late yesterday. The idea: Shout so loud the Florida Supreme Court might actually accept its new plan. B-I-N-G-O. They used one of those wire rollers with a handle and a bunch of ping pong balls.

Senators who drew white balls got four-year terms while those who drew green ones received two-year terms.

The Senate committee passed its drawing of the chamber's map late Wednesday night and now awaits the full Senate to approve the redrawing -- the Supreme Court rejected it the first time.

Once the ball cages rolled out, though, some immediately questioned the "gravitational integrity" of the all-seeing white and green ping pong balls.

Jacksonville Democrat Audrey Gibson (who was placed in District 9 for a four-year term) questioned the weight of the balls after calling it a "Senate lotto."

She raised the question of whether the green balls came from the factory in that color, or if they were painted and "therefore heavier than the white balls so they will fall to the bottom." She voted against the map.

Staff members said in defense that the green balls came from the factory like that, that weight was not an issue.

No word on whether they weighed the balls to prove that, though.

"The person ... who's guilty of the misdemeanor are the three people standing in front of us, the secretary and the two helpers," Storms said. "They are the persons guilty of the misdemeanor, not us."

Committee chairman Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, responded "of course not" to Ronda Storms', R-Brandon, argument that the ping-pong ball bingo-style district and term drawing was the same as illegal gambling, "casting lots." She and other senators argued they could all be in violation of the law using the bingo method.

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