HAPPENING TODAY: GA House to begin redistricting hearings

State lawmakers to hold first redistricting town hall Tuesday

Georgia state lawmakers will officially kick off the once-in-a-decade redistricting process on Tuesday.

The House Reapportionment & Redistricting Committee will hold their first of what will be a series of town hall meetings throughout the summer to hear from Georgia voters. Though Tuesday’s meeting will be held virtually, the committee has scheduled several in-person meetings across the state, from Dalton to Brunswick.

Redistricting is the process by which congressional, legislative and municipal boundaries are reconfigured to account for population shifts after the census. In most states, including Georgia, the process is carried out by state lawmakers with the approval of the governor.

The process usually begins in the springtime, but the Census Bureau is delaying the release of the necessary data due to the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on data collection. State legislative leaders have said that the process will not begin until “the frost is on the pumpkin.”

Georgia voters were encouraged to sign up to speak at Tuesday’s virtual town hall. Each speaker will have no more than 2 minutes to testify, and the entire hearing will be streamed live on the committee’s website.

I am one of the voters who will be testifying. I do not plan on saying anything noteworthy, but I do plan on encouraging the committee to listen to input from all Georgia voters, regardless of their ideology, as they endure what will almost certainly be a bruising partisan battle.