AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – The redistricting fight continues in Augusta, this time at the state level.
The battle to address new district lines this decade in the Garden City makes its way to the Georgia State Capitol. State Senator Harold Jones issuing this statement on Richmond County’s Redistricting Maps:
“On February 7, 2022, SB 457 and SB 458 were assigned to the Senate State & Local Governmental Operations Committee. These bills address the redistricting of the Richmond County Commission and Richmond County Board Of Education. Unfortunately, the redistricting maps attached to these bills are not the maps voted for by the Richmond County Commission and Board Of Education.”
State Senators Max Burns and Lee Anderson are sponsors of both bills.
“Regrettably, the only option we had forward was to take a map we had created that included the concerns about neighborhoods and about precincts and about communities of interest and move that forward,” State Sen. Max Burns, (R) Sylvania told us.
Senator Burns said redistricting work began in June of last year, with the first map drafted by the state being done by a staff member who did not take Augusta communities into consideration. He said that map split 13 precincts and was eventually voted on in 6-4 votes by both the Augusta Commission and Richmond County Board of Education. He said the delegation did not support it and attempted to get leaders on board.
He added, “I am confident that these maps will be acceptable. I hope they will be accepted and implemented. By the way, we went from splitting 13 precincts to splinting two.”
But Senator Jones’ statement also read that the months of hard work and citizen input into the maps voted on and presented to the state and local delegation are not being considered. And added the citizens of Richmond County are requesting their voices be heard ahead of the May 24th election.
But Senator Burns said there have been hearings already and the bills are ready for floor action in the senate in the next day or so.