Georgia Senate approves redistricting map in vote along party lines

ATLANTA — The Georgia Senate on Friday approved a new Congressional district map that could expand the GOP’s majority in the state’s Congressional delegation. The vote went right down party lines.

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“We’re very pleased with this,” said State Sen. John Kennedy, a Macon Republican and chair of the committee that drew up the map. “We’ve got a good map here. It’s going to be good for the state, good for the citizens. It was a fair and transparent process.”

The vote came after vigorous debate from state Democrats. They argued the GOP-drawn map did not get enough public input since the vote came barely a day after the Republicans revealed it.

“The Congressional map was dropped, what? They had 28 hours, a little over 28 hours for the public to even look at it or get their input on it,” said State Sen. Nikki Merritt, a Grayson Democrat.

The new map extends Democrat Lucy McBath’s 6th Congressional District north into more conservative Cherokee, Forsyth and Dawson Counties, making her seat much more vulnerable to Republican challengers. It moved Johns Creek out of the 6th and put it into Democrat Carolyn Bordeaux’s 7th District. It also extended Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene’s 14th District into Democratic-leaning West Cobb, including Powder Springs and Austell.

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Under current rules, the majority party at the State Capitol gets to draw the district maps. The GOP is the majority party in Georgia. That had some Democrats crying foul.

“This is designed to hold the Republican majority regardless of your input,” State Sen. Merritt said.

Democrats also accused Republicans of targeting the Congressional districts belonging to women of color, a charge Republicans denied.

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The map will now go over to the Georgia House. A vote is expected Monday.

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