A federal judge in the US state of Georgia approved the redistricting of Republican electoral districts on Thursday, various US media reported. The new electoral map had already been approved in the Republican-dominated parliament at the beginning of December.
In October, the judge ordered Republicans to design a new electoral map. In the old map, black voters had fewer votes, the judge ruled at the time. This violates US election law.
The new electoral map added an electoral district west of Atlanta with a majority black population. But a neighboring district represented by Democrat Lucy McBath, a black woman, also fell. McBath's district includes mostly black, Latino and Asian voters.
Democrats and civil rights groups argued in court that the revised map conflicted with the judge's earlier ruling. It ruled, however, that Georgia was unable to solve the problem “by eliminating minority areas elsewhere.” Republicans argued that the redistricting was consistent with the decision because McBath's district is not majority black.
Republicans won nine of Georgia's 14 U.S. House districts in the 2022 legislative elections. After Thursday's ruling, that percentage is likely to remain unchanged. In the 2024 legislative elections, Democrats only need to add five seats nationally to gain a majority in the House of Representatives.
In the United States, there is a great deal of concern about organizing electoral districts in a way that frustrates political competition. When this is done consciously, it is called gerrymandering. The Georgia chapter of the NAACP, a civil rights organization, called the new map “an example of racial gerrymandering.” It is not yet clear whether Democrats and their supporters will appeal the new ruling.
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