Georgia seeks Federal approval of Redistricting Maps

Atlanta Examiner (GA) - October 11, 2011

Now that the state has re-drawn the districting maps, all that is needed is the approval of the federal government. Last Friday, along with the Governor’s office, Georgia’s Attorney General, Sam Olens, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia seeking federal approval, or “preclearance”, of the newly drawn state legislative and congressional plans.

Attorney General Sam Olens explained that under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, Georgia must receive approval from the federal government before any changes in election practices or procedures are implemented. States can seek that approval from the U.S. Department of Justice or the District Court for the District of Columbia.

“We have worked closely with the General Assembly to ensure that Georgia’s growing population is fairly represented, and we are confident that the maps drawn will meet the requirements necessary for federal approval, “said Olens.

“Like several other states, including Louisiana, Virginia and Alabama, Georgia will also submit the plans to the Department of Justice for administrative approval. If Georgia obtains administrative preclearance of the three plans, the state will dismiss the lawsuit.”

The Attorney General’s office has released a copy of the lawsuit that can be read here.