Democrats call for redistricting reform

Three Democratic lawmakers are pushing to create an independent commission to redraw political lines in the future.

Sen. Elena Parent (D – Atlanta), Rep. Pat Gardner (D – Atlanta) and Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver (D – Decatur) said the legislation would be a fairer way to redraw current legislative and congressional district lines in coming years.

“It is time to give the citizens the ability to choose their representatives instead of the representatives choosing their voters,” said Gardner, who is sponsoring both resolutions.

Similar legislation filed in recent years has failed to gain any traction.

“Districts have been drawn to be hyper-partisan,” said Parent. She argued that the current system “pushes elected officials to the extreme of hyper-partisanship, where compromise is impossible.”

The three lawmakers said the current redistricting system creates “disproportionate partisan districting,” which does not offer fair representation to voters.

HR 962 and 963, which were prefiled last month, would shift legislative and congressional redistricting power from the General Assembly to an “independent, nonpartisan commission.”

The commission would be made up of 14 members: eight selected randomly by the Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court, and six chosen by commission members.