Reapportionment / Redistricting

The Geospatial Information Office has produced a redistricting data hub that includes a story map of the various proposed maps, an archive of various map versions, details on district populations and demographics, census block data, and additional information. It is accessible through the button below.

Read about the 2021/2022 redistricting process below.

Update: The Mayor and Commission voted 8-2 in favor of a resolution at a Special Called Session at 4:30 PM on Thursday, January 20, 2022 to support the substitute map submitted by Representative Spencer Frye. A video of the meeting and other map-related meeting discussions is available below.

Mayor & Commission Special Called Session - January 20, 2022

Approval of resolution in support of Rep. Spencer Frye's substitute map

Mayor & Commission Regular Called Session - December 7, 2021

Approval of Item #29 - Adoption of certified map with amended Commission district boundaries

Mayor & Commission Work Session on Redistricting - November 9, 2021

The Charter for the Athens-Clarke County Unified Government (ACCGov) requires election district boundaries for ACCGov Commission districts to be reapportioned following the publication of each official federal decennial census. This allows for districts to change size as appropriate based on population changes over the previous 10 years.

The redistricting has several specifications. Each election district should consist of contiguous territory, have boundary lines set as the centerlines of streets or other well-defined boundaries as utilized by the United States Census Bureau, be as nearly equal in population as practicable, and comply with the requirements of the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965. The requirement for election districts to be as nearly equal in population as practicable is a Constitution requirement under the one person, one vote principle.

2021/2022 Redistricting from 2020 Census Data

Census data from the 2020 Census was released months later than usual due to delays caused by the pandemic. On October 19, 2021, the Mayor and Commission approved a resolution requesting the assistance of the Board of Elections in preparing and recommending the redistricting plan for the Commission’s review and approval prior to its submission to the Georgia Legislative and Congressional Reapportionment Office for certification.

In carrying out this resolution, the Board of Elections was tasked with ensuring that the Charter's provisions were upheld, along with, where practical, redistricting best practices recommended by the Georgia Municipal Association. These include prioritizing voter convenience, avoiding dilution of likely voter affinity groups, preserving compact and contiguous districts, protecting incumbents, and avoiding racial or political gerrymandering.

ACCGov’s Geospatial Information Office assisted the Board of Elections in preparing the redistricting plan with the goal of delivering a redistricting plan for the Commission’s review and approval that provides 10 Commission districts aligned as closely as possible to existing boundaries while taking into account 2020 Census block boundaries and data. The timeline included provisions for a draft map for Mayor and Commission review and approval to be produced by November 11, 2021.

After a series of meetings and map draft versions, the Board of Elections voted to forward a series of maps for the 10 Commission districts to the Mayor and Commission. The Mayor and Commission began reviewing the maps in a Work Session meeting on November 9, 2021 (linked above and available on YouTube).

The Mayor and Commission continued to discuss the maps forwarded by the Board of Elections at the Agenda Setting Session meeting on Tuesday, November 16, 2021 before continued discussion and a vote at the Regular Session meeting on Tuesday, December 7, 2021 on an amended set of maps sent to the state.

On January 6, 2022, the GA House of Representatives provided a press release stating that State Representatives Houston Gaines (R-Athens) and Marcus Wiedower (R-Watkinsville) and State Senators Bill Cowsert (R-Athens) and Frank Ginn (R-Danielsville), had released a new proposed district map.

On January 18, 2022, the GA House of Representatives provided a press release stating that State Representative Spencer Frye (D-Athens) had released a new proposed updated map.

The Georgia General Assembly will ultimately approve a set of maps for signature by the governor.

Previous Redistricting Information

2011

In June 2011, a Reapportionment Committee determined which election districts needed to be reapportioned, held public meetings on the reapportionment process and potential reapportionment plans, and recommended a draft reapportionment plan that met the requirements of law to the Mayor and Commission.

The Mayor and Commission received public input on the recommendation and approved a reapportioned district map with 8 districts and 2 "super districts" to the state local legislative delegation for adoption by the Georgia General Assembly in its 2012 legislative session.

2012

In February 2012, Senator Cowsert and Senator Ginn introduced Senate Bill 494 in the Georgia State Senate. Senate Bill 494 was not the reapportionment plan recommended by the Mayor and Commission, but was a reapportionment plan made up of 10 single-member districts and no "super districts." The Georgia State Senate and House approved the bill. Governor Deal signed the bill. The adopted plan was approved by the U.S. Department of Justice.