Georgia Democrats call for changes in redistricting process

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

State Sen. Elena Parent and state Rep. Pat Gardner, both of Atlanta, and state Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver of 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 hyperpartisan,” Parent said.

She said the current system “pushes elected officials to the extreme of hyperpartisanship, where compromise is impossible.”

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

House Resolutions 962 and 963, which were filed last month ahead of the legislative session that begins Monday, 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.

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