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Public redistricting meeting to be held ahead of proposed map vote

Published: Dec. 3, 2021 at 11:21 PM EST
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - The Redistricting Commission is set to vote on their proposed map for Columbus City Council districts tomorrow.

They are calling for the public to voice their concerns before the maps are finalized.

One of the 16 Redistricting Commission members, Gloria Strode, says the goal of redistricting is to insure that all voters are represented proportionately in accordance with the principle of “one person, one vote”.

Every ten years after a census is taken the maps are re-drawn. A Redistricting Commission is selected every ten years to use the new census data to reapportion the eight council districts in Columbus.

“If growth has happened in a particular area, then they might have to move the lines to make sure that they can get as close to that magic number,” said Strode. That magic number being 24,977.

Strode said they came up with 10 different scenarios to make approach the re-drawing of these lines. Each scenario representing a letter from A through J.

The proposed redistricting scenarios are based off of one demographic - race.

“When they show you those different scenarios, whether it’s G, J, I, they are looking at how many Black, how many White, how many non-Hispanic,” explained Strode.

On Saturday, Dec. 4, the Redistricting Committee is coming together to vote on which scenario is most equitable.

Redistricting Commissioner Wane Hailes says the decision may vary.

In order to complete accurate lines they have to have 24,977 people in each district. And Hailes says their goal is to do this without changing any council members’ districts.

“Redrawing lines in a way that could change a council person’s district would cause council people to have to run against each other” said Hailes. “It’s just not fair. And it doesn’t have to happen that way.”

Before they put the scenarios to a vote they want to hear from the public one last time.

Strode says they are looking forward to getting feed back from each person. The meeting will take place at the City Services Center at 10:00 a.m. tomorrow morning.

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