WASHINGTON, March 23 (UPI) -- Georgia lawmakers have approved a mid-decade congressional redistricting, opening the door for Republican Gov. Sonny Perdue to sign it into law.
The state House approved the remapping of House congressional districts for a final time Tuesday following Monday's Senate approval of the GOP-driven changes.
Although Perdue's approval is guaranteed, the Justice Department must still provide its expected approval of the plan under provisions of the Voting Rights Act before it can take effect for the 2006 election.
The outgoing congressional district map was drafted by the Democratic controlled legislature in 2001, following the 2000 Census as is the custom.
However, with Republicans controlling both houses of the legislature and the Governor's mansion, Georgia follows other states with similar situations in adopting a mid-decade redistricting aimed at shoring up GOP seats in the U.S. House.
The redistricting is unlikely to change the current party breakdown in Georgia's House delegation from seven Republican and six Democratic lawmakers very much.
However, several GOP districts will be better protected from a Democratic challenge.