Georgia redistricting kickoff set for June 15
The once-a-decade process of redrawing Georgia’s congressional and legislative district lines is upon us as the State House and Senate committees charged with redistricting will hold a joint virtual town hall meeting on June 15 to begin gathering feedback from Georgia residents.
The meeting will be held from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. and will provide citizens a chance to weigh in on the results they would like to see from the process. Speakers at next week’s meeting will be limited to two to five minutes each. Time limits within that range will be subject to how many people sign up to speak.
Additional hearing will be held throughout the month across the state. Per the by law, states must redraw their congressional and legislative district boundaries every 10 years following the U.S. Census. The process is legally necessary only to accommodate population shifts that have occurred within each state since the last census, so that districts remain as nearly equal in population as possible.
Charles Bullock, a political science professor at the University of Georgia has written extensively on the subject and says redistricting is “the most political activity” in America. The majority party invariably comes up with maps to try to maintain its majority status for the next decade.”
Republicans will be looking to retain control of the state House and Senate during this process, but demographics and the changes in metro Atlanta may impact their ultimate goal. Although Georgia has grown, for the first time since the 1980s, the state will not be allocated an additional congressional seat. Population growth during the last decade was not enough to warrant a 15th U.S. House district. Of the 14 seats in Congress, Republicans currently hold eight congressional seats to six for the Democrats.
Following the public hearings, lawmakers will design and vote on new maps during a special session of the General Assembly later this year. With final census data not expected before September, the session isn’t expected to begin until October at the earliest. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.