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Governor Perdue Introduces Redistricting Guidelines To Georgia Senate

Friday, January 31, 2003  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774

Legislation Will Reunite Georgia's Communities

Atlanta - Governor Sonny Perdue today introduced redistricting guidelines that will align Georgia's redistricting process with democratic principles. "I am asking Georgia's legislators to address redistricting during this session. The legislation proposes that redistricting be based on clear and simple principles that reflect community values and interests," said Governor Sonny Perdue.

The Governor has worked closely with Georgia State Senators Bill Stephens (R- Canton) and Daniel Lee (R- LaGrange), his floor leaders on this legislation. Senator Lee also chairs the state's Redistricting and Reapportionment Committee. Senators Lee and Stephens introduced the legislation earlier today.

The guidelines outlined in the legislation will apply to all of Georgia's political districts - Congressional and State House and Senate.

General Guidelines for Responsible Redistricting

"Georgians deserve a redistricting process that guarantees that our citizens interests are served and not the interests of politicians and partisan politics," said Governor Perdue. "Elections in our state should be about the promising future of Georgia, not the past, and these guidelines are an important step in moving our state forward. With these guidelines, elections in Georgia will be about constituents choosing their elected leaders and not the politicians choosing their constituents."

The following principles are reflected in the Governor's redistricting guidelines:

  • All districts should comply with the United States Constitution and the Voting Rights Act of 1965;
  • Counties, precincts, and communities of interest should be kept whole where possible, unless necessary to comply with federal standards;
  • Political data must be removed from the process;
  • The law must be clearly and convincingly obeyed;
  • No district should be drawn with the intent or effect of diluting the voting strength of any person, group, or members of any political party;
  • Districts should be contiguous and compact in form;
  • Single-member districts shall be used and multimember districts will be prohibited; and
  • Redistricting should be decided in Georgia and not in the courts.