Redistricting is the process of enacting new congressional and state legislative district boundaries. Georgia’s 14 United States representatives and 236 state legislators are all elected from political divisions called districts. District lines are redrawn every 10 years following completion of the United States census New apportionment figures released by the U.S. Census Bureau show Georgia’s population grew by 1 million people from 2010 to 2020, but that was not enough to gain a new congressional seat. On Sept. 23, Gov. Brian Kemp (R) called for a special session to begin on Nov. 3, 2021, for the purpose of considering and finalizing congressional and state legislative district maps.The following is a recap of the redistricting and reapportionment process written by The League of Women Voters e-newsletter, “Under the Gold Dome.” The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization.
Last week, members of the Senate Redistricting and Reapportionment Committee passed SB1EX and sent it to the State Senate for a final vote. The proposed bill passed out of committee on a partisan vote of nine ayes and four nays.
The minority Democrats presented their alternative proposed maps but did not want any action taken on them. Instead, Senate Minority Leader Gloria Butler asked that SB1EX be tabled for further discussion. Other members of the committee agreed, citing numerous comments from the public demanding more time to review and comment on the maps as drawn. The motion to table did not pass, again on a partisan vote of four ayes and 10 nays.
As drawn, the maps provide:
- Equal population of 191,000 in each district with no more than 1% deviation
- Most of the state’s 159 counties remain as intact voting districts with 29 larger population counties having more than one senator. (Current maps split 39 counties).
- Two districts will be dissolved and moved to higher-growth areas of Gwinnett and north Fulton counties. Current senators from those two districts are running for higher state offices.
At the same time, the maps reinforce the Republicans’ majority, with only one new Democratic-leaning district.
What does this mean to you and the district you live in? Access the maps here.
The House Legislative & Congressional Reapportionment Committee will begin considering HB1EX and HB4EX, the proposed maps for the House, on Monday at 1 pm.
Both of these committees are moving like a runaway train. To be part of a process that will affect all voters in the state for the next 10 years:
- Volunteer as a committee meeting observer (all sessions are live-streamed); contact Julie Bolen, email@example.com.
- Let your legislative committee member know how you feel about fair and transparent redistricting.
- View the proposed Congressional, State House, and State Senate maps under the “Proposed Plans” tab.
- Watch the sessions in real time by checking out the Georgia General Assembly Schedule.
- Drop by the state house to see your legislature in action! Meetings of both the Senate Redistricting and Reapportionment and the House Legislative & Congressional Reapportionment Committees are open to the public.