ATLANTA - The Georgia Senate gave its approval Friday to a map redividing the state's 14 congressional districts.
"It's a pretty map," state Sen. John F. Kennedy, R-Macon, told his colleagues on the floor. "You don't see funky lines and weird-drawn districts. It's a pretty map because you look at it and it is striking visually from the standpoint that it is not gerrymandered."
The map creates nine reliably Republican districts and five Democratic districts. Currently, Georgia is represented by eight Republicans and six Democrats in Congress.
"If you look at the total way that the map is put together and the population shifts around the state, it's a fair map," said Sen. Kennedy.
Senate Democrats, however, disagreed with Sen. Kennedy's assessment.
"This is designed to hold the Republican majority regardless of your input," said state Sen. Nikki Merritt, D-Grayson.
Democrats pointed specifically to the changes made in the 6th district, which is currently represented by Democratic Congresswoman Lucy McBath. The new map stretches the district north into Forsyth, Dawson and Cherokee counties, which are majority red.
"I can literally think of no reason that people in Fulton and Dawson County should be voting for the same rep. Our work here will be done here before the holiday, but never mind that we are getting districts that are carved up like a Thanksgiving turkey," said state Sen. Sonya Halpern, D-Atlanta.
The House of Representatives must also approve the map, which appears to be headed for a vote Monday.