The Georgia House of Representatives Monday adopted a new map of state Senate districts drawn by majority Republicans over the objections of minority Democrats.
The 96-70 House vote nearly along party lines sent the bill to Gov. Brian Kemp’s desk, ending the once-a-decade legislative redistricting carried out by the General Assembly.
Douglas County will go from two state Senate districts covering parts of the county to three under the map finalized Monday.
The Georgia Senate approved a new House map last week that splits Douglas into four districts, down from the current six House districts.
Douglas County will have a seven-member state delegation after elections next year, down from eight currently.
In the Senate, Carrollton Republican Sen. Mike Dugan’s 30th district currently covers the western half of Douglas County and Atlanta Democratic Sen. Donezella James’ 35th district covers the eastern half.
Under the new map finalized Monday, Dugan’s 30th district will cover just the northwest corner of Douglas, along with parts of south Paulding and all of Carroll and Haralson counties.
James’ 35th will cover the eastern half of the county along with parts of south Fulton.
The 28th district, represented by Sen. Matt Brass, R-Newnan, will cover the southern third of Douglas County, currently represented by Dugan, along with parts of south Fulton and all of Coweta and Heard counties.
As has been the case throughout the special redistricting session lawmakers began nearly two weeks ago, Democrats on Monday accused Republicans of drawing district boundaries to the GOP’s advantage while ignoring minority population growth during the last decade that favors Democrats.
“We are a 50-50 state. We are a battleground state,” Rep. Bee Nguyen, D-Atlanta, told her House colleagues, referring to the close margins of recent statewide elections. “This map creates a 60-40 split with the advantage to the Republican Party.”
But Rep. Bonnie Rich, R-Suwanee, chairman of the House Legislative & Congressional Reapportionment Committee, said the Senate map complies with the federal Voting Rights Act and splits fewer counties than the Senate map that has been in place since the last redistricting in 2011.
Next up for the special session is consideration of a proposed map for Georgia’s 14 congressional districts.
At the local level, the Douglas County Board of Commissioners must redraw boundaries for all four district county commission seats, the Douglasville City Council must redraw boundaries for its five council wards, and the Douglas County Board of Education must redraw boundaries for its five districts.
The Sentinel reached out to all three government bodies seeking comment on where they’re at in the redistricting process.
County spokesperson Phyllis Banks said that according to Tiffany Stewart-Stanley, assistant county administrator, “the county is waiting on the initial draft of the redistricting map from the Georgia Office of Legislative & Congressional Reapportionment.”
Douglas County Schools Superintendent Trent North said the Board of Education is working with the Office of Legislative Reapportionment, with school board Chair Tracy Rookard facilitating the “process between the Reapportionment Office and the Board of Education.”
“All the steps in the redistricting process have begun,” North said. “Board members will now start working on a draft map alongside the Reapportionment Office. This reapportionment process, which started months ago, will include the entire board.”
A spokesperson with the city of Douglasville did not respond to an inquiry about where the city council is in the process by Sentinel press time on Monday.
A report from Capitol Beat News Service was used in this article.