Augusta Democrat John Barrow says he wants to end the partisan manipulation of political boundaries in Congress. He's introduced legislation that would require states to set up independent panels to oversee redistricting in the U-S House. But some political observers doubt the change would rid federal politics of gridlock.
The U.S. Supreme Court will rule next year whether some states including Georgia still need federal oversight of how they conduct elections. The case concerns the Voting Rights Act, which protects minority voters by monitoring election map changes in some states.
The Augusta Commission and Richmond County school board district plan created by U.S. District Judge J. Randal Hall will stand for 2012 commission and school board elections, the Augusta Chronicle reports.
Georgia gained a 14th congressional district in last year’s redistricting, reflecting the state’s rapid population growth between 2000 and 2010. The top two contenders for the new northeast Georgia district are both from Gov. Nathan Deal’s hometown of Gainesville.
Anyone in Augusta wanting to run for county commission and school board won’t be filing their paperwork this week during the qualifying period. A federal court has yet to redraw lines for those election districts.
State Senator George Hooks of Americus says he won’t run for re-election in the fall. Known as the “Dean of the Senate,” the rural Democrat has served in the General Assembly since 1980, first as a representative and then later as a Senator.
Candidates for some local offices may not know what districts they’re running in this year. In Athens, for example, newly-drawn districts with 2010 census data are awaiting federal approval. But candidates can’t wait.
Atlanta Public Schools intends to close 10 schools as part of a massive plan to redraw boundaries for students. The plan to close 10 schools is the system's final redistricting proposal. The proposal now goes to the school board for an April 10 vote.
Chatham County lawmakers have resolved an impasse over how to divide voters among county commission and school board members. Democratic and Republican county officials split last year over maps Republicans saw as favoring Democrats. Savannah Republican Ron Stephens says, new maps don't split precincts and get rid of sprawling districts.