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Wednesday, September 7, 2011 - 12:27pm

Deal Signs Congressional Maps

Gov. Nathan Deal signed off on Georgia’s new congressional districts Wednesday. They now head to Washington, D.C., for review by the federal government.

Under the Voting Rights Act, Georgia is one of nine Southern states that must receive approval for any election maps changes from the U.S. Department of Justice. Deal and other state leaders haven’t decided yet whether to submit them directly to the Justice Department or go through the federal courts.

The redrawn congressional map includes a 14th district, owing to the state’s population surge last decade.

While the Republican-controlled state legislature overwhelmingly approved the new districts last week, Democrats say the maps are part of a systematic plan to isolate minority voters. That’s because they say the maps dilute minority voting strength.

Deal said the state has followed the Voting Rights Act.

All states redraw election maps every ten years following the census.