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Thursday, March 22, 2012 - 11:26am

Chatham County Changes Voting Districts

Chatham County's legislative delegation has come to an agreement over how to split up county voters among school board and county commission members.

Politics divided the local redistricting process.

The county's Democratic and Republican officials split over a county plan that Republicans saw as favoring Democrats.

County officials denied politics played a role.

Still, the divide prompted lawmakers to get involved.

Savannah Republican Ron Stephens says, the maps agreed to Thursday won't please everyone, but at least now they are more compact and look a lot like the existing maps.

"It was just a matter of getting communities of interest together and making sure than precincts weren't split," Stephens says. "And we accomplished all that."

Chatham is one of a few counties that still haven't approved school board and commission lines based on the last Census.

"And there'll still be some people who won't like it," Stephens says. "There are those who really want their districts to be packed one way or the other. And we just don't want to do that."

At least one -- Augusta's Richmond County -- has given up and will let courts decide.

The new Chatham County maps are now expected to sail through the legislature in its final days.