LISTEN: Why an overhaul of political boundaries in Georgia could bring chaos

Georgia State Rep. Saira Draper, D-Atlanta. (Courtesy photo)

Credit: Courtesy photo

Combined ShapeCaption
Georgia State Rep. Saira Draper, D-Atlanta. (Courtesy photo)

Credit: Courtesy photo

As Democratic state Rep. Saira Draper prepares for a new round of political mapmaking in Georgia, she can’t help but brace for the uncertainty ahead.

Georgia’s Republican leaders say they will comply with a federal judge’s order to create new majority-Black districts in metro Atlanta and Macon even as they continue a legal fight against the ruling that found the current boundaries were illegal.

That could mean that new maps are in place in 2024 but not in 2026, Draper told the Politically Georgia podcast on WABE. And it could intensify a scramble for office in 2024 as incumbents and prospective candidates await the new boundaries.

Complicating it all, she said, is the shadowy process that both parties have employed over the decades to craft the maps.

“We have a very good idea of what we would like to see. But this shouldn’t be a deal that’s come to behind closed doors,” said Draper, who represents an Atlanta-based district and is one of her party’s experts on redistricting.

“We need transparency. We need our Republican colleagues to step up. If they believe they’re creating a map that complies with the order, there shouldn’t be any problems bringing it to the public.”

Still, Draper said, she is optimistic about the prospect of bipartisanship after House Speaker Jon Burns told Politically Georgia he would work with lawmakers from both parties to craft the new districts.

“I take the speaker’s word at face value,” she said. “I’m happy to hear that they intend on complying with the judge’s order.”


The team also discusses an extraordinary interview that attorney Frank Hogue gave to the AJC Breakdown podcast about the plea deal for Jenna Ellis, one of the four allies of Donald Trump charged in the Fulton County election interference case who have pleaded guilty to lesser charges.

Plus, Republican state senators upbraided Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger over his election policies as a new fight over voting in Georgia.

Have a question for the show? Call the 24-hour Politically Georgia Podcast Hotline at 404-526-AJCP. That’s 404-526-2527. We’ll play back your question and answer it during the Listener Mailbag segment on next Friday’s episode.

Listen and subscribe to our podcast for free at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts. You can also tell your smart speaker to “play Politically Georgia podcast.”

About the Author