Breaking down the Georgia redistricting process

Published: Aug. 11, 2021 at 11:35 PM EDT
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MARTINEZ, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - State leaders are another step closer to redrawing district maps. They show the districts represented in the Legislature in Atlanta. It’s all part of deciding which names you see on the ballot or the make-up of your community. And a lot of it is determined by census data. But it’s not just about the numbers.

Redistricting is the long, complicated process to divide up the population into different districts. These are the current maps:

Augusta school board districts
Augusta school board districts(WRDW)
Georgia House districts
Georgia House districts(WRDW)

They determine which school district you’re in, who your commissioner is, and who represents you in Congress, the senate and the house. And at tonight’s public hearing people asked the committee to keep justice, representation and equality in mind.

Population growth drives redistricting and over the past 10 years, the population of Georgia has grown by about a million people. Locally our numbers have changed significantly. Back in 2010, Richmond County’s population was 195,844 people. In 2019 197,888. For Columbia County in 2010 124,053 to 156,714 in 2019. So this committee is listening to locals to hear how they want their communities drawn.

“So that at the end of the day we have districts that are reflective and represent everyone equally,” said Sen. Harold Jones, committee member for Reapportionment & Redistricting.

But for some it’s not just about equal numbers, it’s about equal representation and some people from Richmond County are frustrated.

“A lot of us are left with no representation whatsoever but we’re forced to vote and if we don’t vote for you, you win by default anyway,” said Venus Cain, Richmond County BOE District 9.

Because of the way lines are drawn now.

“Gerrymandering and redistricting have made a difference I mean Columbia County is one small county and it has four small pieces for state legislature..why!!?” said Gayla Keesee, Covenor for CSRA Good Trouble Coalition.

“And they don’t come into Augusta to make a difference they work more the outlining county where they get predominantly most of their votes,” said Cain.

“I encourage them not only look at the data but listen to what the people have said,” said Gayla Keesee, Convenor for CSRA Good Trouble Coalition.

So tonight was all about airing out all those opinions. And if you weren’t able to make it you can still be part of the process. Go to the Georgia General Assembly Website and you can share a written testimony to the committees redrawing the maps.

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