The Georgia House and Senate Democratic caucuses Thursday released their own proposed congressional map ahead of the special legislative session starting Nov. 3.
The Democrats’ map follows a congressional map the Republican-controlled state Senate put out back in September. With the GOP holding majorities in both the state House and Senate, the Democratic map isn’t likely to get serious consideration.
“Georgia has changed significantly over the last decade, and our proposed congressional map reflects that growth,” said U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop, D-Columbus. “Georgia voters should choose their representatives, not the other way around, and this map guarantees that.”
Democrats said their map provides a fair opportunity for voters of color in Georgia to elect representatives of their choice, as minorities make up a majority of the residents in six of the 14 districts (Districts 2, 4, 5, 7, 10, and 13).
“The proposal also fairly represents the partisan makeup of Georgia’s evenly divided electorate, with seven districts that lean Democratic and seven districts that lean Republican,” the Georgia Democratic Party said in a news release. “Additionally, with seven districts centered within metro Atlanta, this proposal rightly acknowledges that more than half of all Georgians live in metro Atlanta, which has driven more than two-thirds of Georgia’s population growth over the last decade.”
“As we crafted this proposed map, we wanted to ensure that it takes into account population trends within Georgia, reflects the will of Georgia voters at the ballot box, and allows voters of color an equal opportunity to elect their candidates of choice,” said Senate Minority Leader Gloria Butler, D-Stone Mountain.
The congressional map being proposed by the state Senate would increase the size of districts in rural South Georgia to reflect losses in population during the last decade. The plan also targets Rep. Lucy McBath, D-Marietta, by shifting portions of the 6th Congressional District she represents into heavily Republican areas.
The Republican map was overseen by Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan and state Sen. John Kennedy, R-Macon, who chairs the Senate Redistricting and Reapportionment Committee.
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“This map not only meets principles of redistricting, but we are proud to present a map that regardless of political party, Georgians can be proud of,” Duncan said when the map was released. “Ensuring that any maps we produce are fair, compact, and keep communities of interest together will continue to be of upmost importance.”
The General Assembly currently has an online portal in which people can comment on the proposed Senate map.