Georgia Redistricting 2000

Georgia’s Political Lineup

 

1991

2001

Governor

D

D

State Senate

45D, 11R

32D, 24R

State House

145D, 35R

105D, 74R, 1I

US Senators

2D

2D

US Reps

9D, 1R

8R, 3D


.

 

Redistricting Deadline

There are no state constitutional deadlines. However, the practical deadline is before the deadline for candidate qualifying for the 2002 elections, which is in April 2002.

Who’s in Charge of Redistricting?

The legislature. The Senate Reapportionment, and the House Legislative and Congressional Reapportionment standing committees have jurisdiction over redistricting legislation. Plans will be considered in a special session of the General Assembly in the summer of 2001. The Governor has veto power over both plans.

Districting Principles

Principle

Congressional

State Legis.

Compactness



Contiguity

+

+

Political sub.

+

+

Communities



District cores

+

+

Incumbents

a

a

VRA § 5

+

+

+ = required                -- = prohibited                a = allowed

Public Access

The legislature holds joint public hearings around the state. Interim redistricting plans are posted on this website as they are released. A map of the newly adoped Congressional districts is available online as of September 28.

Political Landscape

With control of redistricting and a 9-1 edge in the U.S. House, in 1991 Georgia Democrats sought to break up the district of Newt Gingrich, the state's sole House Republican and a narrow winner in 1990. In so doing and in creating a total of three black-majority districts, Democrats’ partisan objectives backfired. The delegation is now 8-3 Republican.

Georgia gained 2 additional seats in 2001, and Democrats will likely seek to modify current districts to favor their party. During the last round of redistricting, however, Democrats had a difficult time maintaining party unity because many black and white Democrats were split on how many minority opportunity districts to create.

Legal Issues

In 1995, the Supreme Court in Miller v. Johnson declared Georgia's 2nd and 11th congressional districts to be unconstitutional “racial gerrymanders.” After the legislature failed to come up with a new map, the court in 1995 redrew these districts and the surrounding districts. The final congressional plan converted the two black-majority districts into “black influence" districts. The Supreme Court affirmed the revised plan. Georgia’s state legislative plan also was challenged as racially gerrymandered. All parties to the litigation agreed upon a revised plan before the court ruled on the lawsuit.

Legislation/Reform Efforts

No reform is likely before 2002, but the Georgia League of Women Voters is active on redistricting. Its position in support of a redistricting commission reads: “The Commission should be diverse and include legislators, citizens, minority interests and political party representatives. [The League of Women Voters supports] an open process with citizen input and public hearings on any proposed redistricting plan.”

In addition, U.S. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney (D) and some state legislators have proposed proportional voting systems in multi-seat districts.

Irregularly Shaped District
District 6

· 91% white; 6% black; 2% Asian; 2% Hispanic

· Georgia’s most affluent district

· Leans very Republican (was Newt Gingrich’s district)

Contact Information

Linda Meggers
Director Reapportionment Services Unit
Suite 407, Legislative Office Bldg.
Atlanta, GA 30334
404/656-5063
404/651-8086 Fax lmeggers@legis.state.ga.us

Sewell R. Brumby
Legislative Counsel
Office of Legislative Counsel
316 State Capitol
Atlanta, GA 30334
404/656-5000
404/651-9292 Fax
SBRUMBY@legis.state.ga.us