The Census is done, and the redistricting season that occurs every 10 years has begun.
Maps in Georgia are drawn by the party in charge of the state legislature. Done under a veil of secrecy sanctioned by law, the process lacks an open, fair and public process. Every party has used this opportunity to protect their incumbents to the detriment of Georgia voters.
Communities can find their influence either diluted or overly concentrated by map line-drawers interested in partisan gain or pleasing powerful interests. The newly drawn districts will be in place until 2030, so voters need to have a say in developing them now.
At a minimum, the House and Senate apportionment committees should listen to community input through a series of open public hearings across the state; show their work by holding meetings in public, sharing data sources and releasing proposed maps well in advance of adoption for public comment; and commit to independent evaluation using nonpartisan standards to make sure districts aren’t biased.
The nonpartisan Fair Districts Georgia has resources on its website, fairdistrictsga.org, to educate citizens about redistricting and provides ways to encourage legislators to ensure that the process is fair and transparent. Please contact Sen. Bill Cowsert at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask him to guarantee a transparent, fair and open process as he redraws Georgia’s electoral maps.
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