Georgia redistricting to cost $3.8m

The amount was just mentioned on local news (no link yet. Update: link here) They also mentioned that the redistricting which was previously done at University of Georgia has been moved by the Republicans more closely into their control.

Redistricting had been handled through a state contract with the University of Georgia’s nonpartisan Carl Vinson Institute of Government.

But according to a memo obtained by The Associated Press on Thursday, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and House Speaker David Ralston are creating a Legislative and Congressional Reapportionment Office. The office will be staffed by many of the same employees from the Carl Vinson Institute and will have the same budget.

Ann Lewis, counsel to the state Republican Party, and her law firm will provide legal guidance for the effort.

Lewis has handled several politically charged legal efforts in the state, including the defense of the state’s voter ID law and a brief then-Gov. Sonny Perdue filed with the U.S. Supreme Court challenging the Voting Rights Act.

The VRA is the chief means by which southern states are required to “preclear” their plans with the Department of Justice after decades of racist Jim Crow laws and is deeply resented in the south. The fact that the chief legal counsel for the redistricting filed an appeal against the VRA for the Republican Governor is telling.

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