Georgia legislators may redraw districts

Feb. 7, 2005 at 4:54 PM

ATLANTA, Feb. 7 (UPI) -- Republican in the Georgia Legislature will soon decide whether to move ahead redrawing the state's congressional district boundaries.

Democrats HAVE equated the idea to opening a Pandora's box and hint they might retaliate in kind in states where they control the legislature, Roll Call reported Monday.

The seven Republicans in the Georgia delegation have agreed on the redistricting plan and a new map has been crafted, GOP sources said. Republican Gov. Sonny Perdue now supports the idea after having been initially thought to be opposed to altering the lines crafted by Democrats in 2001.

"Hopefully the leaders in Georgia, because it's a legislative decision, will make that decision to try to put Georgia back together," U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, R-Ga., said. "Put counties and cities back together. Put county seats with their counties and hopefully make it just more of a conventional looking map than what we've got now."

Sources said Democrats Jim Marshall and John Barrow would be most risk under the proposed new map.

Georgia is explicitly mentioned in the federal Voting Rights Act, meaning any new lines would have to be approved by the U.S. Justice Department.

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