Mar 3, 2022 - News

Kemp signs controversial Cobb County maps into law

Cobb maps

The new boundaries for the Cobb County Commission, left, and Board of Education. Image: Courtesy of the Legislative and Congressional Reapportionment Office

On Wednesday, Gov. Brian Kemp signed into law two controversial maps designed to solidify Republican presence on the Cobb County Commission and Board of Education.

Why it matters: This is the last of the controversial Republican-drawn maps to be passed and signed over protests from local Democratic officials, bypassing the traditional locally led redistricting process.

  • Democrats said Republicans drew new boundaries to weaken the gains they made in local elections in such counties as Clarke, Richmond and Gwinnett.

Catch-up quick: The new maps, which will go into effect Jan. 1, 2023, put Democratic incumbents from both entities into the same district and creates a new district for each map.

  • The new school board map places Democratic members Charisse Davis and Jaha Howard into the same district and creates a new vacant seat.
  • The same is done to the Board of Commissioners’ map, which moves incumbent Democrat Jerica Richardson into the same district as JoAnn Birrell, her Republican counterpart.

What they’re saying: State Rep. Ginny Ehrhart, who sponsored the bill for the school board, tells Axios in a statement that the maps were “legally and fairly drawn and are in keeping with the U.S. and Georgia constitutions, as well as the Voting Rights Act.”

The other side: State Sen. Erick Allen tells Axios the maps don't reflect the will of Cobb County voters.

  • "It is a power grab by a fading minority that understands they can't win on the issues," he said in a statement. "The governor's signature is not the end of this; it's just the beginning of the next phase."

What’s next: Lawsuits, most likely.


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