NDRC Statement: Georgia Republicans’ State Legislative Maps Defy Court Order
December 1, 2023
ContactBrooke Lillard email@example.com
Washington, D.C. – This week, Georgia Republicans are taking steps to try to pass state Senate and state House maps that fail to appropriately remedy the state’s prior violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA). Both maps defy the court’s order by, among other things, failing to expand the opportunity to elect a candidate of choice to Black Georgia voters who were denied that ability in the previous election. They also eliminate existing minority opportunity districts in order to create new Black majority districts, in direct contravention of the court’s directive.
For example, the state Senate map continues to deny the opportunity to elect candidates of choice to more than 180,000 Black Georgia voters in areas identified by the court for relief and eliminates two existing minority opportunity districts. The state House map similarly does not expand the opportunity to elect candidates of choice to a substantial number of Black Georgia voters in areas identified by the court for relief, who were previously denied that ability, and it eliminates five existing minority opportunity districts in order to create new Black majority districts.
“Georgia Republicans are continuing a dangerous pattern of openly defying court orders by drawing discriminatory maps that deny Black voters equal representation,” said Marina Jenkins, Executive Director of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC). “The court’s order was clear; a proper remedy includes adding Black opportunity districts without erasing existing minority opportunity districts and expanding the opportunity to elect candidates of choice to Black voters who were previously denied that ability. Georgia Republicans are attempting to pass state legislative maps that fail to meet those requirements. If enacted, the district court should strike down these maps to protect the rights of Georgia voters.”
This fall, the federal district court ruled in the cases Pendergrass v. Raffensberger and Grant v. Raffensberger that Georgia’s congressional and state legislative maps violate the VRA. The National Redistricting Foundation (NRF), the 501(c)(3) affiliate of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC), initiated these legal challenges in 2021.