MAP: What Gwinnett would look like with 2 new commission districts

Gwinnett County's iconic water towers, which were torn down in 2010.

Combined ShapeCaption
Gwinnett County's iconic water towers, which were torn down in 2010.

Last week, State Rep. Pedro Marin filed a bill that would bring historical changes to Gwinnett County's government.

The legislation would add two new seats to Gwinnett’s Board of Commissioners, rework the four existing commission districts to make room and, conceivably, pave the way for more diversity on the board — which, despite being the highest governing body in a county with more non-white residents than white,  is entirely Republican and has never had a person of color among its members.

So what would the new districts look like? And how real would the chances of political upheaval be?

See the proposed map below, alongside a map of the already existing districts — and read on for analysis.

How would the districts be created?

  • Under the proposal, the new District 5 would be formed by taking the southernmost parts of the existing districts 2 and 3. That would include large swaths of the Lilburn, Snellville and Centerville areas.
  • District 3 would then expand further into the Lawrenceville area, while District 2 would gain some new territory on the southern side of I-85.
  • The proposed District 6 would subtract primarily from the existing District 1, commandeering parts of the Norcross, Duluth and Suwanee areas.
  • District 1 would then expand to take much of the northern tip of Gwinnett, including most of the Buford area, from District 4. District 4 would shrink considerably geographically, covering primarily the Lawrenceville area south of Ga. 316.

What might it all mean politically? 

The bullets below show how the individual precincts proposed to comprise each new board district voted in November's presidential election.

Keep in mind, however, that voting precincts don’t always match up with district lines and some precincts are more populous than others — so the numbers provided are merely a quick glimpse at the possible political leanings of each proposed district.

Overall, Gwinnett County voted for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump in November — the first time it had chosen a Democrat since Jimmy Carter in 1976.

  • A whopping 92 percent of the precincts that would make up the redesigned District 1 voted for Trump in November.
  • Nearly 90 percent of the precincts that would make up the new District 2 voted for Clinton.
  • About 60 percent of precincts  included in the proposed District 3 voted for Trump.
  • Roughly 56 percent of the precincts in the redrawn District 4 voted for Clinton in November.
  • Approximately 60 percent of voting precincts that would be included in the new District 5 voted for Clinton.
  • About 56 percent of precincts that would be included in the new District 6 voted for Clinton.

In short, Marin’s redistricting plan has the potential to create two hyper-partisan districts (1 and 2). The other four districts would likely have more of an even split between Republican and Democratic voters.

Marin, a Democrat, said that, to have the General Assembly’s Reapportionment Office draw up the new proposed district map, all he did was give them each current commissioner’s address so they wouldn’t be drawn out of their home district.

“I didn’t draw the lines or anything like that,” he said.

Marin said he plans to file another, similar bill this week — this one to add two more members to Gwinnett’s five-person school board.

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