Georgia very likely to gain a congressional seat

It’s looking more likely that Georgia will pick up an additional seat in Congress:

A new study predicts that when the dust settles from the 2010 Census, eight southern and western states will gain congressional seats largely at the expense of states in the Midwest and Northeast.

According to the unofficial study, Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina, Utah and Washington would each gain an additional seat in Congress, while Florida and Texas would gain two and four seats, respectively.

States predicted to lose a single congressional seat are Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, while New York and Ohio are each projected to lose two seats.

Every ten years, upon the conclusion of the national census, the number of congressional seats in each state is recalculated based on population changes since the previous census. The process is known as “reapportionment.”

Despite that this will be decided by the courts as Georgia has to submit any changes in districts or voting laws to the Department of Justice for clearance per Section V of the Voting Rights Act, expect plenty of fear-mongering on this during the gubernatorial race this year.

56 comments

  1. So, why don’t the Georgia General Assembly and governor just give the Justice Department a map of Georgia and a box of crayons? Because, there is still a great amount of strategy involved. Governor Deal will have plenty of influence.

    Besides, one day soon this antiquated Act will be struck down. It nearly was last year. At that point, we’ll go back to the drawing board and reorganize.

    Look at the shenanigans that Obama’s Toy Boy Roy pulled before he was kicked out of office, multimember districts and the worst case of Gerrymandering ever seen in American politics. He won’t be trusted again.

    • B Balz says:

      One seat and I guess that more than 1,000 hours of combined, cumulative legislative time will be spent on this issue. It will take on the aura of Armageddon, if not reined in early.

      To all you new reps, don’t bite into the pie, look at the other serious issues that confront Georgia FIRST.

    • Jason says:

      Fear!!! We must scare people into voting for Nathan Deal!

      Give me a break. The courts decided it last time. The courts will decide it this time.

      • Doug Deal says:

        Plus the Governor can’t do squat to force through Gerrymandered districts. The legislature is controlled by the GOP, no matter what happens in the elections. The only logic that supports electing Nathan Deal at all cost is if you want to Gerrymander for the GOP. This is exactly what is wrong with the GOP. No matter what sleazy thing our peopel do, it gets a pass, yet everyone screams like bloody murder when the Dems do it back.

        • Jeff says:

          Melvin Everson admitted to it yesterday in a tweet.

          Why don’t we simply blindly draw contiguous districts based on nothing more than population numbers, with ZERO regard for any other factor?

          Oh wait, that would mean people would actually be free to work with their neighbors to elect the person they feel is best for them, without having to worry about the deck being stacked…

            • No guarantee of that. I’d like to see a non partisan commission re-arrange the existing districts keeping them mostly intact and create a new district that is a 50/50 competitive district.

              That way Georgians would win.

              • Joshua Morris says:

                Georgians win if their districts keep communities together. The ’50/50 competitive’ thing is a huge gerrymander waiting to emerge for the purpose of a worthless idea.

                There’s no good reason to make the competitiveness of a district part of the process. Voters in a community can decide for themselves how competitive their district is.

                • polisavvy says:

                  I wish that they could actually keep a whole county in the same district. Our county is divided into two different Congressional districts.

                    • polisavvy says:

                      I realize that. It just seems that all the residents of the same county could actually be represented by the same person. I totally know why our county was divided. Doesn’t make me very happy at all either.

                    • peachstealth says:

                      Baldwin for one is split. Before the Republicans mid decade change even small counties like Wilcox and Pulaski ( about 10,000 people each) were divided.
                      Bibb had it’s white northern suburbs removed from the rest of Macon. There was an intrusion into Colquitt to remove Moultrie from what had been the 8th.
                      Who do you think did that? The courts or the Democrats and King Roy?

              • TheEiger says:

                I think that is a pretty horrible idea Chris. With 50/50 districts like Marshall’s you have 50 percent of the population constantly mad at their representation. There are also millions of dollars spent on these races. Other districts such a Lewis’ and Graves’ you only have 30 percent of the folks unhappy with the fast majority pleased with their representation. Whatever the new districts look like we will have to have at least Three majority minority districts for the justice department allow it.

        • ChuckEaton says:

          I think discussing redistricting is a legitimate campaign issue, although I doubt its effectiveness. Especially in light of Barnes record on redistricting.

    • ACCmoderate says:

      If you’re capable of reading Luke, I suggest you actually take a gander at section V of the VRA. You’ll see that the DoJ can’t draw the districts… they can only vote yay or nay to allow the state-drawn maps to proceed.

      I’m sure its not gerrymandering when its done by Sonny’s boy Deal. Then again, feel free to blindly and baselessly fear-monger about Obama’s Koi Toy Boy Joy Ploy Soy Roy.

      • I was making light of Jason’s point that it doesn’t matter who the governor is in the reapportionment process. Of course the state draws the map and the DOJ “approves” or says “go back to the drawing board.”

        I’m okay with Governor Deal and the Republican controlled Georgia General Assembly drawing the map to gain as much advantage as possible for our candidates. There is nothing wrong with it. To the victor, goes the spoils.

        Roybama showed all the skills of a tricky trial lawyer by trying to pass a farce of a map that actually discriminated against black politicians in Georgia. This is why Georgia’s black legislators joined with Republicans to have his map thrown out by the DOJ.

          • At your next Libertarian State Convention Jason, you can wow the other twelve members of your party with your knowledge of Section V of the Voting Rights Act.

            What is there not to understand? At one time, some states discriminated against minorities and attempted to keep them from voting. However, all of those silly tricks have long been done away with such as poll taxes, literacy tests, etc. Within our lifetime, this outdated statute will be struck down.

            There is nothing wrong with a state deciding, just like every state that is not covered by VRA Sect. V now, how the lines in their state are drawn. Obviously, it is wrong to divide by race, but there is nothing wrong with doing so by party. Naturally, they will favor their own party.

            It is unfair that Ohio can reapportion their districts without federal interference and Georgia, with two state wide elected black men, cannot.

            Governor Nathan Deal will approve a reapportionment map created by the Georgia General Assembly. Through the wise counsel of experts like Anne Lewis, we will follow the past decisions of the DOJ and draw a map that gives us maximum GOP gains while following the law.

            • Jason says:

              Arguing whether or not the VRA should still apply is a completely different argument, and one that we’re not discussing.

              We are discussing the law as it currently exists, like it or not, and as it currently exists, Georgia has to submit any changes to its voting laws or reapportionment to DOJ for clearance.

              • ChuckEaton says:

                I mistook your original post. Thought you were equating those that opposed the VRA to fear mongering.

                That being said, I think it’s a perfectly legitimate campaign issue to mention that redistricting is coming up and and asking, “Who do you want seated at the table.” Especially in light of Barnes’ last foray into redistricting and his multi-member idea.

                • Jason says:

                  And it’s not going to matter who is Governor. This will go through the courts. You’re just using fear to drive people to the polls. It’s politics, sure, but dishonest.

                  • ChuckEaton says:

                    Do you mean it will go to courts due to the Legislature / Governor not being able to agree or do you mean it will go to courts due to DOJ?

                    If it’s due to Gov / Legislature, I disagree, especially if it’s Deal, states are usually able to draw districts without going to court.

                    I don’t think it’s at all dishonest. The Gov and the Leg. are legally charged with drawing districts, why ignore the issue? Seems as if there should be an attempt made at drawing districts, it’s awfully defeatest to believe the Gov and Leg. will have no say so in the matter. That being said, I don’t think the issue is a very effective campaign issue, as I think there are other issues that voters are more focused on.

        • Lady Thinker says:

          Luke,

          The patronage system, or as you call it, to the victor go the spoils, was replaced in 1883 by the Pendleton Civil Service Act. So based on your comments, you would rather see the Civil Service System, also called by some, the Merit System, phased out and bring back the corrupt patronage system with deal at the helm? deal has the corruption factor so I guess it could work.

      • ChuckEaton says:

        Just like the Governor technically can’t “draw” the districts, but having the veto effectively gives him a place at the table.

  2. Jeff says:

    “expect plenty of fear-mongering on this during the gubernatorial race this year”

    Like the Obama mailer I got yesterday? I scanned in the entire thing, I’ll get a post up with the images tonight. (Meant to last night, and had connection issues. Think I got them resolved this morning.)

  3. BoogDoc7 says:

    If you run the numbers, it looks like that could be a 10-12 seat swing for Republicans (give or take 1-2 seats).

  4. Jane says:

    The GOP needs totally control of the local process in order to draw out the Democrats they do not like. If there is a divided government in Georgia, the Dems will protect their favorites. Obama and his court may help draw the bigger picture, but they will not be able to draw the details and the devil is always in the details.

    • ACCmoderate says:

      So the GOP needs to gerrymander the districts. Is that what you’re hinting at?

      The DoJ (and certainly not Obama) cannot draw the districts. It simply can’t happen. To continue to claim it certifies your ineptitude at understanding facts. Georgia will draw the districts… if the DoJ takes issue, Georgia will have the opportunity to try it in court. If the maps are struck down, Georgia, not the DoJ, goes back to the drawing board.

      Is the GOP willfully ignorant of facts or are they just stupid?

      • B Balz says:

        That’s how I read it. It’s OK if YOUR Party gerrymanders, yet it is an act of WAR, if the other Party does the same thing.

        WE will march proudly, heads held high, chin up, chest out, into the oblivion of what could have been unless we get off this ridiculous precept of pure partisanship.

        WAKE UP!

  5. B Balz says:

    The problem is that either Party DOES NOT “…need total control of the local process …” Both sides will do the same thing, that is, jigger around to select their voters.

    This problem is is a large part of the reason why the US faces such gridlock. Time was, the voters selected the pol, now computer modeling software uses complex algorithms based on census demographics so that the POLS PICK THE VOTERS.

    This insures the seat will stay, the pol will probably get re-elected. BTW, Mr. Charlie Cook pointed this out to a group in WDC back in 2005!

    • Doug Grammer says:

      Other than having to comply with the VRA, the GOP legislature should draw maps the they can run for relection on, (not gerrymandered.)

  6. drjay says:

    i presume the new seat will be a metro seat, i realize i don’t get to decide such things, but it would be nice if it is a seat melvin emerson can run for if he were interested!!!

    • Doug Grammer says:

      All congressional districts will get a bit smaller geographically. Where the vacancy will be is anyone’s guess.

      • ChuckEaton says:

        Some folks think it will be up in your neck of the woods, but as you said, all the districts will change, so it’s hard to determine where the “new” district will be. I guess it will be the district that doesn’t have a current Congressional incumbent in it. (stating the obvious here)

        • Jeff says:

          I guess it will be the district that doesn’t have a current GOP Congressional incumbent in it.

          Fixed it to reflect what you and Doug really meant there.

          Like I said earlier, Melvin Everson outright admitted to GOP gerrymandering on twitter yesterday.

          If it is wrong when your enemy does it, it is EQUALLY wrong when you do it.

          • Doug Grammer says:

            Point 1. Melvin won’t be in general assembly when the lines are drawn.

            Point 2. “With initial #Census data, #GA will pick up at least one new #Congressional seat. Need to make sure it is picked up for the#GOP. #gapolitics” DOES NOT = winning by gerrymandering. It equals winning. Keep your spin down to 5% or less, just like your vote results for your LP candidates.

            Point 3. I don’t think that they will do the same things the Dems did. They will not use 5% + in some districts and 5% – in other districts to gain an advantage. They won’t bring back multi-member districts. They will draw lines that don’t divide counties without reason and they will keep communities of interest together.

            Point 4. It was wrong when the Dems (and Gov. Barnes) did it. We won’t be making those same mistakes.

            Point 5. It probably will result in another GOP congressman, because the state as a whole leans GOP. It won’t have anything to do with bad lines.

            Point 6. Don’t fix what I say. I may make mistakes, but you are not my editor.

  7. ChuckEaton says:

    Makes my blood boil everytime I think about the discriminatory treatment of Section V.

    For the very reason it should be unconstitutional, due to Equal Protection, is the very reason it continues to pass every 25 years. Why should a Congressman, from the majority of states not under Section V, take a stand on this issue. It doesn’t effect their own states and they risk being demagogued as bigoted racists.

    The major GOP states need DOJ approval for their districts, but the major liberal states don’t have DOJ intervention. GOP gerrymandering is bad, Democrat gerrymandering is good.

    • ACCmoderate says:

      When Section V was written, it was Republican states largely unaffected while Democratic states shouldered the burden. Funny how things are cyclical like that.

      If you don’t like Section V of the VRA you can appeal to the DoJ and plead your case for why it should no longer be applicable in your jurisdiction… it’s been done before.

      Maybe, we shouldn’t have discriminated against blacks. That would have been the smartest move.

      • ChuckEaton says:

        You say “we” as if you just breathed life into a state government. You have to remember, the State of GA, as an entitiy, is really just a set of laws and a means of enforcing them, it has no memory, no guilty conscious and no heart. It’s the people who are in power, that are charged with doing the right things, that matter. If you’re going to try to compare the people in office today, to the Bull Conners and George Wallaces of 60 years ago, then you’re being disingenuous; if not, then it’s time to end Section 5, or make it applicable to all of the states in the Union.

        The overwhelming majority of citizens in GA today had nothing to do with the institutional racism that was prevalent many decades ago. Most were either born after the period or moved here from out of state. Those who were here 60 years ago, and still believe in instutional racsim, have been reduced to powerless relics. Those that still think there is institutional racsim are cutting political radio ads.

        Why should a UPS worker, who recently moved to Roswell from Chicago, be discriminated against by the Federal Governement. To discriminate against people who happen to live in Georgia today, for the sins of some people who happened to live in Georgia 60 years ago, is morally wrong.

        I’m not saying that Section 5 was never needed, I think it was an appropriate, emergency measure for the period. I just believe that period has long since passed.

        • ACCmoderate says:

          Chuck, the sad fact of the matter is that the people who were in charge, screwed it up for the lot of us.

          Is it unfair to a UPS worker who has relocated from Chicago. Yeah, it is. But these rules are in place to make up for an electoral system that existed in this state that was a whole lot more unfair to African-American voters

          • ChuckEaton says:

            I agree the electoral system was unfair, but it’s time to move on. Section 5 was supposed to be temporary.

  8. SFCWallace says:

    At least the current map is “regiomnal” enough that it makes sense….I remeber when I was stationed at Ft. Stewart in the early 90’s, there was a district that looked like a set of bar bells. The bar was I-16 and the weights were Macon and Savannah.

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