COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – At a Jan. 25 city council meeting, city leaders were informed the state did not approve the Columbus Redistricting Commission’s final map proposal.
After months of back and forth and 10 different re-drawn maps, the Redistricting Commission voted 15-to-1 on Map J (seen below). Redistricting lines are drawn every 10 years based off of the previous year’s census data.
The state denied Map J and instead gave a different proposal (see below).
The biggest changes the state made were with Midland Commons and the Columbus regional airport.
The state reapportionment office says their reason for these changes were to avoid precinct split, avoid voter anonymity issues, and use consistent geography.
These changes did not make sense to council members, as the airport does not have any residents or voters.
District 6 Councilman, Gary Allen, expressed his frustration with the states proposal tonight.
“I’d like to meet with the state representative who drew these – it just doesn’t make sense”Gary Allen, District 6 Councilman
This change may also cause confusion as voters receive ballots in May. Some Muscogee county residents will see a different district number next to their city council member and school board member as the school board will be elected under new district lines and the city council will not.
They have three options. One, to go forward with Map J without certification from the state, two, accept the states adjustments to map J, or three, go back to the state with changes they would like to see.
The Districting Commission will now meet again on Feb. 8 to decide which route they want to go.