As new state and congressional district lines are being considered, Forsyth County residents will be able to give state leaders their thoughts on redistricting in person.
On Tuesday, June 29, 5-8 p.m., officials with the state House Legislative and Congressional Reapportionment Committee and the state Senate Reapportionment and Redistricting Committee will host a town hall hearing at South Forsyth High School, 585 Peachtree Parkway, the committees announced in a news release.
“During each town hall-style hearing, members of the committees will hear and receive input from residents regarding the state’s redistricting process,” officials said in the release. “Members of the public are invited to speak in person and can sign up to speak at the meeting location starting at 4:30 p.m. outside the meeting room. Testimony should be between 2 – 5 minutes. Time limits are subject to change depending on how many individuals sign up to speak.”
The SFHS meeting is one of three upcoming town halls, along with meetings on Monday at room 341 of the Georgia State Capitol, 206 Washington Street SW, Atlanta, and on Wednesday at the Godroe Auditorium at Dalton State College, 656 College Drive, Dalton. All meetings will be held 5-7 p.m.
The hearings will be live-streamed and archived at www.legis.ga.gov.
Georgia residents can also submit written testimony at https://bit.ly/3gNR4ML.
Reapportionment is a once-a-decade process of creating and updating state and congressional district lines. The process can be quite contentious as lines are drawn on the backdrop of power struggles between parties in the state and nation. How the lines are drawn may give one party or the other an advantage in a specific area.
The redistricting process usually starts earlier, but the 2020 U.S. Census population counts that drive the process were delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Officials believe the chances of Georgia adding another seat in the U.S. House of Representatives is bleak, as the state was one of the lowest-performing states in census participation, totaling roughly 84%.
Only 62.9% of the state self-reported for the census. Georgia ranked 38th out of 50 states and is below the national self-participation rate of 67%.
Jeff Gill, of the Gainesville Times, contributed to this report.