Both sides gear up for political fight as Georgia lawmakers meet to redraw congressional lines

ATLANTA — It could be the biggest political fight in a year full of political fights.

Georgia lawmakers are meeting at the state capital to take the first steps to redrawing Georgia’s congressional and legislative districts.

This process is called reapportionment and happens every 10 years once the state gets the latest census data.

The last reapportionment happened in 2011 when Georgia added one congressional district, a district now held by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.

In 2011 Republicans held a super majority in the legislature and a majority of Georgia’s congressional districts.

But changing demographics and population shifts could make this year’s redistricting trickier for Georgia Republicans.

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Under Georgia law the majority party gets to control reapportionment. Preliminary hearings on redistricting began at the state capital Tuesday.

Lawmakers will have to convene in a special session later this year once they get the final census data to vote on the final maps and plans.

Republican strategist Brian Robinson said this reapportionment will be more difficult than the one 10 years ago.

“So in 2021 the Republican Legislature is going to have a much tougher challenge than they had in 2011 because there are a lot more Democrats then there were 10 years ago,” Robinson said.

House Democratic minority leader representative James Beverly of Macon said his fellow Democrats will take a wait and see attitude.

“The best way to make sure we have the right voices at the table is to make sure that we have the fairest maps possible,” Beverly said. “I would just say to my colleagues across the aisle is let’s just have fair maps.”

The governor is expected to call the special session late in the year, possibly in November or December.