The Georgia Legislature was called back to session Monday to tackle the once-a-decade task of redistricting. This process is the ultimate partisan activity, with some members ambitiously looking to tweak lines to elect more like-minded legislators and some simply fighting for survival if the population totals in their part of the state no longer add up to what they are used to. It’s worth noting that this is the first year that Republicans have controlled both chambers and the governor’s office during redistricting in Georgia, and that their path to power began with either a miscalculation or a desperate hail mary by the Democrats, who ten years earlier tried every trick in the book to maintain their power.
- Jurisdictions would do well to justify their plans or individual districts by appealing to principles other than partisan advantage
- Avoid maximization of partisan advantage
- If you are going to gerrymander, do so by way of traditional districting principles
- Strive for perfect population equality even for state plans or at least be able to justify deviations in terms of traditional districting principles (compactness, contiguity, respect for political subdivisions or communities of interest, or protection of incumbents of both parties)