Oct, 20, 2016 — Donna McLeod — a plaintiff in a suit alleging political gerrymandering of local posts in Gwinnett County — says district lines were also redrawn to help her opponent in a state legislative seat.
McLeod is running against Rep. Joyce Chandler, a Republican who’s won two close elections by about 550 and 800 votes. A 2015 redistricting removed a majority-minority precinct where Chandler lost by more than 600 votes the year before and added two precincts where white voters outnumber minorities by more than 3-to-1.
Political parties and other powerful players use the once-a-decade redistricting process to advance their own goals — often at the expense of voters. A recently released trove of email messages from Ohio offers a rare inside glimpse into how it works. The messages, sent from June to September, show collaboration between the national GOP and state Republicans to redraw Ohio’s maps and thus cement control of both the statehouse and a majority of congressional districts.
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Legislative leaders are in discussions to hire a prominent lobbying firm to help redraw district lines for the Georgia House and Senate this year. Under the proposal, Troutman Sanders Strategies would work on reapportionment maps for the Legislature and the state’s delegation to Congress. The firm recently hired former House Majority Leader Jerry Keen, and chairman Pete Robinson serves on Gov.-elect Nathan Deal’s transition team.
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