It is reapportionment time in the State of Georgia! The House Leadership has released a draft of the House districts which can be dissected and debated ad nauseum. The proposed Congressional districts had previously been released, along with the pipe dreams of the Democratic caucuses for Congressional, Senate, and House districts.
From a press release:
Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge), Legislative & Congressional Reapportionment Committee Chairman Bonnie Rich (R-Suwanee) and the House Leadership Team announce a draft map of the new State House Districts to be considered during the 2021 Special Session, which will begin tomorrow. The map may be found on the Legislative and Congressional Reapportionment Office website under the “Proposed Plans” section.
“Through an inclusive, exhaustive and transparent process, we have produced a fair and equitable map representative of Georgia’s changing demographics and shifting population centers that is in full compliance with the spirit and letter of the law,” said Speaker David Ralston. “We have a proven track record of integrity when it comes to redistricting. In 2011, our House Majority drew maps which were the first in Georgia history to be approved without changes by Obama-Holder Justice Department under Section 5 preclearance requirements. We are confident we will once again adopt a map which fulfills our Constitutional duty and strengthens our democracy.”
The public input in this process, which began in June, included 11 joint House-Senate committee hearings held both online and in cities around the state with 22 hours of public testimony. The General Assembly also received more than 700 public comments from interested citizens through an online portal.
Having considered the public input and stakeholder feedback, the draft map has a deviation of less than +/- 1.5 percent meaning that out of 180 districts representing 10.7 million Georgians, district sizes vary by less than 1,800 people ensuring equity among voters. This map also reduces the number of counties split between districts from 73 to 68 preserving communities of interest around the state. It creates a number of new minority opportunity districts and complies with the provisions of the Voting Rights Act.
The draft map will become part of legislation which will be introduced by Chairman Rich in the near future and will be assigned by Speaker Ralston to the Legislative & Congressional Reapportionment Committee for consideration.
“I want to thank Legislative & Congressional Reapportionment Chairman Bonnie Rich and the members of her committee for all the work they have put in thus far, and I look forward to constructive dialog as this bill goes through the legislative process,” said Speaker Ralston.