Compromise Augusta district maps submitted

Voting districts in Augusta-Richmond County might not be decided by a federal judge after all.

Sen. Jesse Stone, R-Waynesboro, Ga., said he’ll introduce a compromise map of city commission and Richmond County Board of Education districts at a Monday meeting of the Senate Reapportionment and Redistricting committee. The map, called Plan 2R and based loosely on the second map created by a local ad hoc committee last year, keeps District 6 closer to the “swing” district it is under the existing districts, Stone said.

“What my goal has been is to make that district reflective of the overall demographics of the county,” Stone said.

The compromise also seeks to meet criteria adopted by the ad hoc committee of keeping majority-black district percentages less than the 70-plus percentages they were in the original Plan 2, he said.

Sen. Hardie Davis pushed for that criteria on the ad hoc committee, saying he preferred “coin-toss” districts that fostered alliances to solid black districts.

Davis joined Stone on Tuesday in pulling both existing map proposals from Senate consideration and declaring the process over.

Stone said that he since had heard from constituents who desired the mapping process not be left up to a federal judge, a costly prospect that would require all sides hire legal counsel.

“The prospect of leaving it up to the courts sparked a renewed interest in trying to get something through the legislature,” he said.

The new proposal needs only approval by the reapportionment committee, not the Augusta legislative delegation, to go before the full Senate for approval.

No change in Augusta Commission, Richmond County school board voting districts

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Mon, 12/05/2016 - 22:47

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