Justice approves Georgia redistricting maps

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The U.S. Justice Department has given Voting Rights Act clearance to the legislative and congressional redistricting maps passed by the General Assembly last August.

Although the Democratic minority in the Legislature contended that the new maps will dilute minority voting strength and effectively “re-segregate” Georgia, the Justice Department has signed off on the redistricting plans.

“The Justice Department’s decision demonstrates that our state’s districts serve ourdiverse population well,” Gov. Nathan Deal said.

“This redistricting cycle marks the first time since the Voting Rights Act became law that all of Georgia’s plans have been approved on the first review,” said Attorney General Sam Olens.

As drawn by the Republican majority, the new maps could potentially result in a General Assembly where the GOP controls more than two-thirds of the seats in both the state House and Senate.

Republicans are also aiming for a congressional delegation that would consist of 10 U.S. House seats held by white Republicans and four seats held by black Democrats.

Also on Friday, the Justice Department rejected South Carolina’s new law that requires voters to show photo identification on election day on the grounds that the measure discriminates against minority voters.

© 2011 by The Georgia Report

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Tags: Georgia redistricting maps , Justice Department approval