A new congressional proposal in the state of Georgia map would divide Democratic Rep. Lucy McBath’s district while keeping Republicans’ 9-5 majority among House members, The Hill.
Proposed on Friday (Dec. 1), the Georgia Republicans’ plan would split McBath’s northeast Atlanta district between its neighbors and move the district farther north, out of the confines of the city which would be closer to Republican voters. Although the new district would be a majority-Black district in west metro Atlanta, other districts would still be divided 9-5 in favor of the GOP.
Jake Orvis, McBath’s campaign manager, accused the Republican party of deploying voter suppression tactics.
“Georgia Republicans have yet again attempted to subvert voters by changing the rules. We will look to the ruling from Judge (Steve) Jones in the coming weeks before announcing further plans,” Orvis said in a statement. “Regardless, Congresswoman McBath refuses to let an extremist few in the state legislature determine when her time serving Georgians in Congress is done.”
The map is a response to U.S. District Judge Steve Jones’ ruling in October that stated the current congressional districts were discriminatory against Black voters, specifically in the west metro Atlanta region.
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"After conducting a thorough and sifting review of the evidence in this case, the Court finds that the State of Georgia violated the Voting Rights Act when it enacted its congressional and legislative maps," Jones wrote in his decision at the time. "The Court commends Georgia for the great strides that it has made to increase the political opportunities of Black voters in the 58 years since the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Despite these great gains, the Court determines that in certain areas of the State, the political process is not equally open to Black voters."
The GOP also proposed new maps for the Senate and state House, which Jones ruled were also discriminatory. The proposal added five new majority-Black districts for the state legislature, as required in the ruling, but removed two districts. Democrats in the state claim that new maps are illegal which goes against Jones’ initial ruling.
“This Republican map is unlawful,” State Rep. Sam Park, who is a Democrat, said from the General Assembly floor Friday. “It is a map that Judge Jones can and should reject.”
“Unfortunately, it seems we are repeating the mistakes of our dark past under Republican control of the state of Georgia,” he continued. “Not only are these maps unlawful, they cling to power and maintain an unrepresentative majority that does not reflect our great state… To put it plainly, it seems Republicans are trying to remedy their racial discrimination with partisan gerrymandering.”
Across several states, In October a federal court approved a new congressional map in Alabama that boosts the Black population in a second district, dramatically increasing Black voting power in the state after the GOP-dominated legislature drew a map that favored Republican voters.
Meanwhile, Georgia Democrats are reportedly planning to oppose the maps in federal court.
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