Georgia enacts new state legislative district maps

Georgia enacted new legislative districts on Dec. 30, 2021, when Gov. Brian Kemp (R) signed a proposal approved by the legislature into law. The maps will take effect for Georgia’s 2022 state legislative elections.

On Nov. 9, the Georgia State Senate passed a map redrawing the state’s 56 Senate districts in a 34-21 vote, which the House then approved on Nov. 15 in a 96-70 vote. The Senate proposal signed by Kemp was released on Nov. 4.

On Nov. 10, the Georgia House of Representatives passed a map redrawing the state’s 180 House districts in a 99-79 vote, which the Senate then approved on Nov. 12 in a 32-21 vote. The House proposal signed by Kemp was released on Nov. 8.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Mary Niesse and Maya Prabhu wrote that the new Senate and House maps may result in a net increase of likely Democratic districts—one in the Senate and five in the House—while Republicans maintain a majority.

After Gov. Kemp signed the maps into law, two lawsuits were filed against them alleging racial gerrymandering. Sean Young, legal director of the ACLU of Georiga, said, “[P]oliticians have failed to draw maps that give many of these new Black voters new opportunities to elect candidates of their choice.”

Following the passage of the two maps, Rep. Ron Stephens (R) wrote in an editorial, “Our overriding objective was to ensure that the power of every Georgia citizen’s vote is equal,” adding, “we have ultimately produced constitutionally and Voting Rights Act-compliant … maps.”

As of Jan. 3, 27 states have adopted new state legislative maps for both chambers, one state adopted a map for one chamber, one state has adopted maps that have not yet gone into effect, and 21 states have not yet adopted state legislative maps. As of Jan. 3, 2012, 32 states had enacted legislative redistricting plans after the 2010 census.

Nationwide, states have completed legislative redistricting for 1,078 of 1,972 state Senate seats (54.7%) and 2,776 of 5,411 state House seats (51.3%).

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