Some Georgia residents may soon see a change in their voting district lines. The Senate and House of Representatives recently approved a new congressional map for Georgia that creates a new, fourteenth district in North Georgia and moves U.S. Rep. John Barrow, a Democrat, out of Chatham County (and into a more Republican-leaning district), raising the number of Republican congressmen from Georgia from eight to 10. The revised map has been sent to the Gov. Nathan Deal for his signature.
The new map also splits Atlanta into two districts, the 5th Congressional District represented by Democrat John Lewis and the 11th District represented by Republican Phil Gingrey.
The plan doubles the number of majority-minority congressional districts in Georgia from two to four. Republicans say the changes comply with the Voting Rights Act, but Democrats argue that the new maps dilute minority voting strength.
Other than that, the changes around metro Atlanta and the rest of the state are causing less controversy. The additional changes to metro Atlanta include a split between north and south Forsyth County (district 9 in the north and the district 7 in the south), a split among Fulton County into four districts instead of two and a split among DeKalb County into four districts instead of three. Henry and Gwinnett are both split three ways instead of two. Rockdale and Douglas counties are among the nine counties that used to be split but are now whole. Fayette County is newly split among the 3rd district in the south and the 13th district in the north.
After Gov. Deal okays the new map, it must be sent to the U.S. Justice Department for final approval.
Do you have thoughts on the new map? If so, please share. We’d love to hear your comments about how the changes might impact you.