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Gerrymandering on steroids

In a democracy, the voters choose their elected officials. In Georgia, however, the politicians choose their voters.

The Republicans in the General Assembly, together with Governor Kemp, just completed a redistricting process that was secretive, rushed, unfair, and pre-determined. To add insult to injury, they did this after months of solemnly promising again and again to be fair and transparent. They ignored the pleas of the public to provide the proposed maps in advance of the Special Session, instead releasing them just hours before the Session began. They ignored the pleas of the public to provide ample opportunity for a meaningful review of the maps, instead steamrolling through the process and conducting several critical votes within two to three days after disclosure.

The results are as appalling as the process. The new maps substantially dilute the voting power of Democrats and minorities. In our roughly 50/50 State, the new district boundaries will likely result in Republicans winning almost twice as many seats as Democrats in Congress! And who were their primary targets? Women of color. The new Congressional map was intentionally drawn to shift many Democratic constituents out of Lucy McBath’s 6th District and replace them with heavily conservative voters. At the state level, Michelle Au, the first Asian American in the Senate and a rising star in the Democratic Party was targeted for replacement.

Next fall, Georgians should use the ballot box to reject those who have such disdain for our democracy.

Valerie Johnson


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