Georgia's redistricting plans approved

ATLANTA (WTOC) - The U.S. Department of Justice has approved the congressional and legislative maps that were passed into law this summer by the state of Georgia, according to Gov. Nathan Deal's office.

"The state of Georgia put forth a tremendous team effort. The maps offer rational district lines, equitable representation and meet the strict standards of the Voting Rights Act," Deal said in a statement. "The Justice Department's decision demonstrates that our state's districts serve our diverse population well. The Legislature conducted an open and fair process that allowed input from all parts of the state, and the final product reflects legislators' hard work and diligence. Special thanks also goes to Attorney General Sam Olens, who shepherded the maps through the preclearance process."

The approval is the first time in Georgia's history that the U.S. Dept. of Justice has approved all three statewide redistricting plans on first review, according to the governor's office.

The approval means that the new districts will be used in the upcoming 2012 elections.

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