Feb 11, 2022 - Politics

Georgia redistricting battles continue

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

A trend has grown at the state Capitol: Republicans are continuing to overrule local redistricting maps drawn by a handful of Democratic-led counties.

What's happening: Gwinnett, Cobb and Richmond all have majority Democratic representation at the state Capitol and in their local governments.

  • But GOP state lawmakers are bypassing the traditional, locally led redistricting process to enact Republican-drawn county commission and school board district maps.

Catch up quick: We outlined the beginnings of this phenomenon last week which began with Gwinnett and quickly emerged in Cobb: two Republican strongholds that have recently flipped Democratic. Richmond County also joined the fray.

State of play: All votes have happened along party lines and against the will of the county commissions, which normally manage their own local redistricting.

  • Gwinnett County's Republican-backed county commission map passed the Senate on Thursday. It now heads to the governor for a signature.
  • Cobb County's Republican-backed county commission and school district maps passed a House committee Wednesday and await a full House vote.
  • Augusta-Richmond County's GOP-backed county commission and school district maps were introduced last week, passed the Senate on Thursday and are headed to the House.

What they're saying: At every turn, Democrats have spoken out to little avail. On the Senate floor Thursday, Gwinnett Democratic state Sen. Michelle Au called the Republican maps a "stunning abrogation of the custom of majority rule in the democratic process."

  • In a House committee meeting Wednesday, Cobb Democratic Rep. David Wilkerson said he was "disgusted" by the process. Fellow Cobb Democrat Rep. Teri Anulewicz called it "opaque obfuscation."
  • Democratic state Sen. Jen Jordan told her colleagues: "We are tearing this body apart … In the name of what? Being able to take local decisions out of the hands of duly elected officials?"

Our thought bubble: Republicans have the votes to pass these bills. The battles seem inevitably headed for court.


Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Atlanta.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Atlanta stories

No stories could be found


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Atlanta.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more