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Wednesday, June 29, 2011 - 8:00pm

Cities, Counties Redistricting, Too

Updated: 3 years ago.
The state redistricting process included a series of public meetings like this one in Augusta where residents voiced their concerns. City and county redistricting may be much more informal. Local leaders must, however, approve their new political boundaries in open meetings. (photo Noel Brown)

State lawmakers are gearing up for a special session to re-draw Congressional and state legislative boundaries.

Meanwhile, a more informal redistricting process is happening locally.

Cities and counties are re-drawing their own lines.

Tom Thomson of Savannah's Metropolitan Planning Commission keeps up with where people are moving to and from Chatham County.

"Population is shrinking in the central core part of the downtown area and going to the fringes," Thomson says.

Tompson is re-drawing city council, county commission and school board lines based on the new Census.

And like municipal planners right now doing the same thing across the state, he'll need to get those local officials' approval to get his maps passed.

"And they give us some input and we try to respond and go back and forth," Thomson says.

Only the US Justice Department oversees local redistricting.

The outcome will influence who gets elected and how tax dollars are spent at the local level.

"Both be sensitive to the interests of the individual elected officials, in terms of their understanding of their own districts, and balance the population according to the requirements," Thomson says.

Chatham County maps are expected in August.

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