Lawsuit challenges Georgia redistricting of seat held by Rep. McBath

The redistricting of Georgia's 6th Congressional District, held by U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath, involved moving about 355,000 residents in Democratic-leaning DeKalb and Fulton counties out of the district, replacing them with a similar number from Republican-friendly Cherokee, Dawson and Forsyth counties. (Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com)

Credit: Alyssa Pointer/Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com

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The redistricting of Georgia's 6th Congressional District, held by U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath, involved moving about 355,000 residents in Democratic-leaning DeKalb and Fulton counties out of the district, replacing them with a similar number from Republican-friendly Cherokee, Dawson and Forsyth counties. (Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com)

Credit: Alyssa Pointer/Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com

Case alleges new Georgia map is racially discriminatory

Voting rights groups are suing over Georgia’s redistricting of a congressional seat held by Democratic U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath after legislators drew the district to favor Republican candidates in this year’s elections.

The federal lawsuit filed Friday alleges that the map is unconstitutional because it denies representation to Black communities, who overwhelmingly support Democratic candidates.

Georgia’s redrawn congressional map is designed to help Republicans gain a seat in Congress, where they currently hold an 8-6 advantage over Democrats in the state’s representation in the U.S. House.

The Republican-drawn map shifts about 45% of the 6th Congressional District — about 355,000 residents — from Democratic-leaning DeKalb and Fulton counties out of the district and brings in about the same number from Republican-leaning Cherokee, Dawson and Forsyth counties.

The court case is the fourth lawsuit over redistricting filed since Republican Gov. Brian Kemp signed new political maps into law last week.

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The 6th and 7th Congressional Districts could see significant changes according to a Republican proposal.

Credit: Isaac Sabetai

The 6th and 7th Congressional Districts could see significant changes according to a Republican proposal.

Credit: Isaac Sabetai

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The 6th and 7th Congressional Districts could see significant changes according to a Republican proposal.

Credit: Isaac Sabetai

Credit: Isaac Sabetai

“Georgia’s political maps must reflect the interest of the people — not the politicians,” said Aunna Dennis, executive director for Common Cause of Georgia, the lead plaintiff in the case. “These maps intentionally discriminate against Georgians of color by silencing our voices at the ballot box.”

Republicans said Georgia’s new political maps are fair and comply with the law.

“These lawsuits are nothing but politically motivated actions from politically motivated groups seeking to further their partisan preferences,” Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, the defendant in the lawsuit, said in a statement last week.

The lawsuit is seeking a new redistricting plan for the 6th District as well as its neighboring 13th and 14th districts. The plaintiffs in the case are Common Cause, the League of Women Voters of Georgia and three voters.

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