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Posted by on April 21, 2011.

Census means changes in north metro districts

Rep. Wendell Willard, Sen. John Albers and Reps. Ed Lindsey and Joe Wilkinson, left to right, discuss the recent legislative session with members of the Sandy Springs/Perimeter Chamber of Commerce.

North Georgia likely will gain a seat in Congress and some suburban Atlanta lawmakers could represent smaller areas once new election districts are drawn to reflect population shifts in the 2010 Census, legislators said recently.

“There is some interesting data in the Census,” Rep. Ed Lindsey told members of the Sandy Springs/Perimeter Chamber of Commerce on April 18.

The General Assembly is scheduled to meet in a special session in August to consider new election district maps based on the 2010 population counts.

Lindsey, a member of the leadership of the House of Representatives, said he was not allowed to discuss particular district lines publicly, but noted that population within the metro area has shifted from the Atlanta core to suburban areas. He predicted a “massive amount of rearranging” will be needed in some areas of metro Atlanta.

“In the Sandy Springs and Buckhead areas, there might be some minor shifting of lines, but the real battle is going to be those areas within the Perimeter [highway],” Lindsey said.

Preliminary indications are that a state House district should take in about 54,000 residents, a state Senate district should take in about 172,000 residents and a Congressional seat about 694,000 residents, Lindsey and others on the panel said.

Rep. Wendell Willard, a Sandy Springs Republican, pointed out that the August session will be different from past redistricting legislative sessions in at least one important way. “This is the first time Republicans will be overseeing the process,” Willard said.

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