Proposed congressional redistricting map still shows Columbus split between 2nd and 3rd districts

A proposed map of Georgia Congressional districts based on the 2010 shows a new 14th District based in the state’s northwest corner, but shows few changes to the 3rd and 2nd Districts that include Columbus.

Georgia’s population grew by about a million people 2000-2010, earning it an additional representative in Congress. But most of that growth was in the north. The state’s southern side lost residents, requiring changes to make each district’s population roughly even.

Still the new map shows Muscogee County split between the 2nd District Democrat Sanford Bishop holds and the 3rd District represented by Republican Lynn Westmoreland. The wavering border dividing the two districts in Columbus looks much the same.

The map redraws the east side of Bishop’s district, which covers Georgia’s southwest corner. At its southern border, along the Florida line, Bishop would lose the counties of Thomas and Brooks and the west side of Lowndes. Farther north he would give up northwest Worth County, too. But then his district would expand eastward to pick up most of Macon’s Bibb County.

The congressional map was just unveiled today. The Republican-controlled House and Senate in the Georgia General Assembly each approved its new map last week. Now each body must OK the other’s map.

Because Georgia remains under the jurisdiction of the Voting Rights Act, all district changes must be approved by the federal government, to ensure they don’t reduce or dilute the voting strength of African-Americans and other minorities.