Georgia

Overview

Georgia Redistricting Process

Congressional and Legislative

Congressional and legislative maps are enacted by the State General Assembly. The Governor can veto the plans.

The General Assembly can override a veto with a two-thirds vote. No party currently has a veto-proof majority in either chamber.

Source: Ga. Const. art. III, § 2.


Previous Redistricting Cycles

2010

  • Congressional
    • Original PlanHB 20
      • Passed = August 31, 2011 (R-controlled)
      • Signed = September 6, 2011
      • Preclearance = Granted on December 23, 2011
    • Litigation History
      • Dwight v. Raffensberger, No. 1:18-cv-2869 (N.D. Ga. June 13, 2018): A group of African-American voters filed a federal lawsuit challenging Georgia’s enacted congressional plan as diluting African-American voting strength in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. On April 13, 2020, the case was dismissed upon stipulation of the plaintiffs.
  • Legislative
    • Original PlansHB 1 (House); SB 1 (Senate)
      • Passed = August 23, 2011 (R-controlled)
      • Signed = August 24, 2011
      • Preclearance = Granted on December 23, 2011
    • Adjusted House PlanHB 829
      • Passed = February 23, 2012 (R-controlled)
      • Signed = February 23, 2012
      • Preclearance = Granted on May 11, 2012
    • Adjusted Senate PlanSB 430
      • Passed = March 21, 2012 (R-controlled)
      • Signed = April 13, 2012
      • Preclearance = Granted on June 12, 2012
      • Used starting with 2014 elections due to delay in preclearance.
    • Litigation History
      • None

2000

  • Congressional
    • Original PlanSB 1
      • Passed = September 28, 2001 (D-controlled)
      • Signed = October 1, 2001
      • Preclearance = Granted on April 5, 2002
    • Litigation History
      • Georgia v. Ashcroft, 195 F.Supp.2d 25 (D.D.C. 2002): Georgia submitted its enacted congressional and legislative plans to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia for preclearance. On April 5, 2002, the court granted preclearance as to the congressional and state House plans but denied it as to the state Senate plan.
        • The U.S. Supreme Court later vacated the initial preclearance objection in Georgia v. Ashcroft, 539 U.S. 461 (2003).
  • Legislative
    • Original PlansHB 14 (House); SB 1 (Senate)
      • Passed = September 6, 2001 (House); August 17, 2001 (Senate) (D-controlled)
      • Signed = October 1, 2001 (House); August 24, 2001 (Senate)
      • Preclearance = Granted as to House plan, denied as to Senate plan on April 5, 2002.
    • Revised Senate PlanHB 1667
      • Passed = April 10, 2002 (D-controlled)
      • Signed = April 11, 2002
      • Preclearance = Granted on June 3, 2002
    • Second Revised Senate PlanSB 386
      • Passed = January 21, 2006 (R-controlled)
      • Signed = March 1, 2006
    • Litigation History
      • Georgia v. Ashcroft, 195 F.Supp.2d 25 (D.D.C. 2002): Georgia submitted its enacted congressional and legislative plans to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia for preclearance. On April 5, 2002, the court granted preclearance as to the congressional and state House plans but denied it as to the state Senate plan.
        • The U.S. Supreme Court later vacated the initial preclearance objection in Georgia v. Ashcroft, 539 U.S. 461 (2003).
      • Georgia v. Ashcroft, 204 F.Supp.2d 4 (D.D.C. 2002): After the initial senate plan was denied preclearance, the General Assembly enacted a revised senate plan (HB 1667) and submitted it to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia for preclearance. The court granted preclearance on June 3, 2002.
      • Larios v. Cox, 300 F.Supp.2d 1320 (N.D. Ga. 2004): Plaintiffs challenged Georgia’s enacted congressional and house plans and revised senate plan on the grounds they violated various constitutional and statutory provisions. On February 10, 2004, the district court upheld the congressional plan but invalidated the enacted house plan and revised senate plan, finding they violated the one person, one vote requirement under the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause, and ordered the plans be redrawn by March 1, 2004.
      • Larios v. Cox, 314 F.Supp.2d 1357 (N.D. Ga. 2004): After the district court struck down the enacted house plan and revised senate plan, the split-control General Assembly failed to agree on new plans by the court’s deadline. The district court appointed a special master to redraw the plans and on March 25, 2004, the court issued an order adopting the special master’s plans in the interim for use in the upcoming 2004 elections.
      • Kidd v. Cox, No. 1:06-cv-997 (N.D. Ga. May 16, 2006): After the General Assembly passed a second revised senate plan in 2006, plaintiffs challenged the plan asserting violations of one person, one vote under the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause and of partisan gerrymandering under the 1st Amendment. On May 16, 2006, the district court ruled in favor of the defendants and upheld the map after finding the plaintiffs failed to establish their claims.
      • Blum v. Schrader, 281 Ga. 238 (Ga. 2006): A group of voters challenged the General Assembly’s second revised senate plan on the grounds the Georgia Constitution prohibited mid-decade redistricting. On November 6, 2006, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled in favor of the defendants, finding that the state constitution did not limit redistricting authority to once a decade.

Ballot Measure Process

Kinds of Ballot Measures
Only the Georgia General Assembly may refer amendments to the ballot. There is no initiative or referendum process.

Source: Ga. Const. art. X.


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