State lawmakers concluded their 2023 special session on Thursday, December 7. The 2023 special session was to adopt new district maps for Congress and the state assembly.
The maps will now be considered by federal courts to determine whether they are sufficient. The special session was brought forth following a court order to add additional majority-black voting districts. Update: the US District Court approved the new maps.
New District Maps 2023
The state assembly passed new district maps for Congress, State Senate and State House. The changes add one additional majority-black district for Congress, two districts for state senate and five districts for state house.
Within Henry County, there were no changes on the Congressional map. The county remains divided into portions of the 3rd, 10th and 13th district. However, the rest of the 13th district saw a change. Previously, the 13th district represented portions of Cobb, Douglas, Fulton, Clayton and Henry Counties. This was in south and west metro Atlanta. Now, the 13th district has part of Clayton, Henry, DeKalb, Rockdale, Newton and Gwinnett Counties. This moves the district to south and east metro Atlanta.
For the state assembly, the changes have greater implications in Henry County. They include two open house seats for the 2024 election. Under the new map, the county has portions of six state house districts. Four state representatives who reside within Henry County each retain a district. They are as follows:
- Demetrius Douglas, district 78,
- Lauren Daniel, district 81,
- Regina Lewis-Ward, district 115, and
- El-Mahdi Holly, district 116.
Two districts, located in Hampton and McDonough, would be open. They are districts 74 and 117. Residents within these areas will elect two new house members next year. Three house members — Rep. Crowe, Mathiak and Moore — will no longer represent a portion of the county.
Within the state senate, it too sees changes. Right now, three senators represent the county. This will increase to four senators. The county’s three senators now, Emanuel Jones, Brian Strickland and Rick Williams, will be joined by Gail Davenport. Senator Davenport would represent the new district 17 covering central Clayton and Henry Counties. Senator Strickland would now reside in district 42. Senators Jones and Williams retain their 10th and 25th district numbers.
Of note, all US House and general assembly members serve two-year terms. They stand for re-election every even year.
The state will now present the new district maps for the federal courts to consider. The court has scheduled a hearing for December 20. They will then decide whether to accept the new maps. This decision will presumably be made in January.
If the courts accept the new maps, then they will take effect immediately for 2024. If the courts decline the new maps, then they will appoint a special master to develop Georgia’s maps. This must be concluded before next spring so candidates can qualify for the election.
Featured image shows the Georgia state capitol. Clayton Carte photo.