ATLANTA -- On Monday, former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder slammed Georgia's House Republicans over their plan to redraw some legislative districts.
Holder, who launched a national campaign to help democrats win upcoming redistricting battles, has called the move a "power grab." Georgia's GOP said the plans are perfectly normal.
The former U.S. Attorney General told the Associated Press on Monday that “voters should choose their elected representatives, not the other way around."
During last week’s crossover day at the state Capitol, the House passed HB 515 108-59, which would redraw the boundaries of eight Republican House districts and one Democratic district in Metro Atlanta.
Democrats argue state Republicans are doing this to help Reps. Rich Golick (R-Smyrna) and Brian Strickland (R-McDonough) Golick only won 53 percent of the vote in 2016 and Strickland won just 51 percent.
Critics of HB 515 call it an attempt at gerrymandering, or manipulating the district boundaries to favor one party over another. The ACLU of Georgia called it an attempt to weaken the voting power of minority communities by replacing minority voters with white voters in those Republican districts. In short, the group called it a violation of the voting rights act.
But Georgia House Speaker David Ralston told 11Alive on crossover day this kind of proposal is not unprecedented. He said the move is an effort to try to put communities of interest together.
“The proposals, I've looked at 'em, and they hurt no member of the House of Representatives at all, period," Ralston argued.
Georgia's constitution allows state lawmakers to redraw districts "as necessary” every 10 years. House Bill 515 is now in front of Georgia's senators, and experts said it's likely to pass.