ATLANTA – According to the first-ever poll of Georgians about redistricting, large majorities of voters from both political parties favor competitive district maps that reflect racial diversity and preserve their communities. The poll also shows that most favor a new law that mandates a non-partisan process for mapping congressional and legislative districts.
Public Policy Polling conducted the poll which was sponsored by the ACLU of Georgia, Common Cause Georgia, Fair Districts Georgia and League of Women Voters of Georgia. The poll’s purpose was to obtain statistically valid results on public awareness of redistricting and its impact in Georgia and to demonstrate opinions by party and demographics. A summary of the poll results can be found at GA Redistricting Poll Summary – July 2022.
“Georgians want a redistricting process that is fair and transparent that ensures every line that is drawn accounts for every voice,” said Aunna Dennis, Executive Director, Common Cause Georgia. “Redistricting should be for the people by the people and not for political power grabs.”
Overall, 78 percent of Georgia voters favor election maps that prioritize competitive districts. In addition, 65 percent believe that Georgia’s maps should reflect the state’s racial diversity. Georgians have low confidence in fairness of current maps and low satisfaction with the map-drawing process. Only 35 percent of those surveyed were “very to somewhat” satisfied with how redistricting is handled in Georgia. Only 24% rated the maps mostly fair.
“Georgians clearly want a fair redistricting process that creates competitive districts – regardless of their political affiliation,” said Susannah Scott, President of the League of Women Voters of Georgia. “Georgia legislators must resist the urge to create safe partisan districts in favor of a process that serves their constituents’ needs.”
The recently enacted 2021 maps were designed to reduce or eliminate competition, creating safe seats for both parties, and ultimately making matters worse. Independent studies indicated that more competitive districts were possible within Georgia’s congressional, State House and State Senate maps.
“Georgians from across the political spectrum agree that the state’s redistricting process needs to be reformed. These results mirror testimony provided by voters in last summer’s public hearings held by the joint redistricting committees. Yet the maps produced in 2021 don’t meet these objectives,” said Ken Lawler, Chairman of the Board, Fair Districts Georgia.
Voters also strongly supported maps that preserve their communities of interest, such as neighborhoods or resident groups with common social, cultural, or economic values. Sixty percent of voters favor this approach, and support is consistent across rural, suburban, and rural communities.
“This poll shows that Georgia voters want fair maps that reflect the racial diversity of our state,” said Vasu Abhiraman, senior policy counsel at the ACLU of Georgia. “Our current maps dilute the political power of Black voters and other voters of color, which makes it all the more important for Georgians to vote in November for candidates who value diversity and more equitable maps.”
The report can be reviewed at GA Redistricting Poll – July 2022.