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LETTER: Reader wants transparent redistricting process

Dear Editor:

Now that the Census over, the redistricting season, which occurs every 10 years, has begun.

In Georgia new maps are drawn by whichever party is in charge of the state legislature. The work is done under a veil of secrecy sanctioned by law.  Lacking an open, fair, and public process, everyone — no matter what party — has used this opportunity to protect their incumbents, to the detriment of Georgia voters. The upcoming redistricting will affect our state for the next decade, and voters need to have a say in developing these districts. Communities can have their influence diluted or overly concentrated by map line-drawers interested in partisan gain or pleasing powerful interests.

At a minimum, the House and Senate apportionment committees should:

• Do all the work in public, share all data used, and release proposed maps well in advance of their adoption for public comment.

• Draw maps based on community input given at open public hearings across the state.

• Commit to using independent, non-partisan guidelines to prevent partisan bias.

The non-partisan Fair Districts GA has resources on their website, to educate citizens about redistricting, and opportunities for involvement to encourage legislators to ensure that the process is fair and transparent.

It is important to contact Sen. Tonya Anderson and ask her to guarantee a transparent, fair, and open process as Georgia’s maps are redrawn.

Jerelyn Jordan