Skip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.
Kemp: Session to redraw Georgia districts to start on Nov. 3

Kemp: Session to redraw Georgia districts to start on Nov. 3

  • 0

ATLANTA (AP) — Gov. Brian Kemp is calling Georgia lawmakers back to the Capitol on Nov. 3 to redraw congressional and legislative districts, he announced Thursday.

Legislators are already busy drawing new lines, with majority Republicans looking to increase the number of congressional seats that their party holds, while preserving control of the state House and Senate.

Kemp in July had pledged to make anti-crime bills a part of the special session, but did not include any in the call. Spokesperson Katie Byrd said Kemp would instead focus on crime during the 2022 regular session. House Republican leaders had indicated they didn't want crime on the redistricting session agenda. Other substantive bills might be used for leverage in what is one of the General Assembly's most personal and partisan duties.

“Our office is currently working on a robust public safety package to accomplish that goal," Byrd said. “The Georgia House and Senate are also currently conducting fact-finding public safety hearings, and will continue to do so through the end of this calendar year.”

Activists have clamored for lawmakers to release draft maps far enough in advance of the session for meaningful public comment, but Republican leaders have indicated that's unlikely. Some draft maps were released days before the session began 10 years ago. Committees approved the same guidelines in 2010, meaning lawmakers aren't required to give the public an advance look or draw district with an eye toward making it possible for candidates from different parties to win.

The guidelines say lawmakers have to consider whether they are splitting counties or precincts, although not cities. Lawmakers must also consider whether a district is compact and whether communities of interest are kept whole. But there are no standards the guidelines say lawmakers should meet. The guidelines also say map drawers should avoid drawing incumbents together into the same district when it’s “unnecessary.”

For majority Republicans, the process could help them pry back one or more U.S. House seats in a 14-member delegation now split 8-6 in favor of the GOP.

Because the state constitution says that members of the state House and Senate must be residents of their district for at least a year before their election, the late start means that anyone who would like to move to run for a different district once the new lines are adopted won’t be able to. The 2022 general election is on Nov. 8. Congressional candidates face no residency requirement.

State and local governments must redraw lines for congressional, legislative and other electoral districts once every 10 years following the U.S. Census to equalize populations. The process helps determine which party will hold power for the following decade.

The state’s overall population rose nearly 10% to 10.7 million people over the decade, but Census results showed uneven growth, with most new residents concentrated in the Atlanta area and around Savannah. Most rural areas lost population.

Kemp did ask legislators to pass a law confirming his authority to suspend the collection of taxes on motor fuels, which he did by order while a key pipeline was crippled by hackers. He’s also asking lawmakers to amend the state tax code to conform with changes to the federal tax code.

The starting date could also limit the length of the session, with Thanksgiving only three weeks later. The state constitution limits a special session to 40 days unless three-fifths of each house votes to extend it.


Follow Jeff Amy on Twitter at

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Get Government & Politics updates in your inbox!

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

  • Updated

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vladimir Putin paid scant attention to Fiona Hill, a preeminent U.S. expert on Russia, when she was seated next to him at dinners. Putin’s people placed her there by design, choosing a “nondescript woman,” as she put it, so the Russian president would have no competition for attention.

  • Updated

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Navy nuclear engineer with access to military secrets has been charged with trying to pass information about the design of American nuclear-powered submarines to someone he thought was a representative of a foreign government but who turned out to be an undercover FBI agent, the Justice Department said Sunday.

Recommended for you

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.



Breaking News

Breaking Sports News

News Alert