The State of Georgia Redistricting


In the United States of America, at the beginning of every decade the country carries out its national census. After the successful completion of the national population count, the federal law requires that each state begin the redistricting process. Redistricting refers to the process of drawing once more the electoral districts’ boundaries in all the states in order to ensure there is an equal number of residence and representation. These districts are paramount and help to decide the individual and community representation at local, state and federal levels.


The redistricting process usually takes places after the completion of each census. The national census happens every ten years usually at the end of every decade. This year’s process has faced several delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which greatly affected the census process. The redistricting process always follows strict stipulated laws. The federal government requires that all districts must have nearly an equal number of residents, and that the districts should not discriminate on basis of race, minorities or ethnicity. In addition to federal law, individual states may impose additional requirements for the process of redistricting to take place.

Every state and its legislature are handed the mandate to determine the best process and techniques to use. The redistricting process varies from state to state. Some states have independent commissions whose members do not hold elective offices conduct the process while some states opt to have the process carried out by the state legislature. In several other states, the legislature shares the redistricting mandate with an independent commission. In the state of Georgia, the state law defines that congressional and state lines be drawn and drafted by the state legislature, subject to a gubernatorial veto. Redistricting plans also require a simple majority vote from each of the house chambers.

The state of Georgia holds its own set of guidelines and procedures that help in the drawing of the legislative lines. Georgia constitution stipulates that the districts should observe compactness. Compactness refers to the general principle that the constituents within a district should live as near to one another as practically possible. It also stipulates that the districts be contiguous. Contiguity refers to the principle that all areas within a district should be physically adjacent (, 2021). This stipulation of observing contiguity however only applies for the legislative districts and not congressional districts.

There are more guidelines, set by a legislative committee on the redistricting process. The guideline requires that the state legislature must be considerate of both county and precinct boundaries as well as the interest of the resident communities in the redistricting zone. They are similarly supposed to observe prohibition of multi member districts. This guideline safeguards against segregation of similar members in the redistricting process. In the census report, incarcerated persons are usually counted as well. This means that they are also used in the purposes of redistricting. All states differ on how they count incarcerated persons while redistricting (, 2021). In the state of Georgia, incarcerated persons are counted in the correctional facilities in which they are housed.

The State of Georgia is made up of fourteen state congressional districts. These numbers of districts represented neither a gain nor a loss of the number of United States House of Representative seats that Georgia was apportioned from the previous census report. On state senate districts, Georgia has a total of fifty-six districts with an extra one hundred and eighty state house districts. 0nce the new lines are drafted; the proposed plans go to both the state houses for debating and voting. After successfully passing this stage, the draft is then taken to the governor who is mandated the task of signing the draft into a new law. State laws define the amount of time that each of the process can take place.

Political parties can also take hold of the redistricting process, to manipulate the drawing of the boundary lines in order to favor their individual parties. This process is usually referred to as partisan gerrymandering. By definition, partisan gerrymandering refers to the practice of drawing electoral districts maps with the intention of favoring a particular political party over the other. This act of partisan gerrymandering has been met with a lot of opposition from individuals and community groups alike, but continues to take place in some states. The supreme court of the United States of America in a recent joint ruling found that partisan gerrymandering claims present political questions that fall beyond the jurisdiction of the federal judiciary (, 2021). Ambiguous rulings from the supreme courts like this one continue to promote partisan gerrymandering.

Georgia’s recent redistricting process has faced some claims of partisan gerrymandering. The Georgia state legislature has a majority number that is in favor of the republicans. In the congressional districts, republicans control eight out of the available fourteen seats. According to data from the Atlanta journal constitution, the newly drawn congressional district lines are going to flip the current democratic leaning sixth districts into a republican dominant district (Murphy, 2021). According to the journal, the redistricting process curved out the biggest democratic leaning portions of the state and replaced them with some of the most conservative voters in the state. The new sixth district’s lines now have incorporated Dawson County, portions of Cherokee and Forsyth Counties all of which are counties dominated largely by republicans. Claims have emerged that the sixth district has flipped from a democratic district to what will become a republican district.

The new congressional lines are expected to give further control to republicans handing them an extra seat up to nine from the current eight hence giving them more control in the House of Representative. In the senate map, that has a total of fifty-six districts, the redistricting process leaned towards democrats. The senate map, according to Atlanta journal created thirty-three districts that trend republican and twenty-three trending democrats, a net increase of one from the current map. In the house map, the new map created ninety-eight districts that trend republican and eighty-two trending democrats, a net increase of five in favor of the democrats (Mary & Maya, 2021). Although the democrats may get a few more seats in both the senate and in the house, the state of Georgia will remain a republican stronghold. The new legislative and congressional lines take effect in the up and coming state legislative elections and are expected to be in effect until the next census.


Concisely, redistricting process is a constitutionally approved undertaking that takes place every ten years. This years’ process faced a big delay because of COVID-19 pandemic, pushing the procedure closer to the legislative elections than usual. Georgia conducted its redistricting as stipulated by the law, and although the process was engulfed with political influence and manipulation, the new legislative and congressional line were voted by the state legislature and signed by the governor.


Mary, N., & Maya, P. (2021). Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Murphy, P. (2021). Atlanta journal constitution.

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DemoEssays. "The State of Georgia Redistricting." April 11, 2023.