Fulton County redistricting lines draw criticism - CBS46 News

Fulton County redistricting lines draw criticism

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FULTON COUNTY, GA (CBS46) -

Those against the proposed redistricting plan held an open town hall meeting Sunday at the Harriett G. Darnell Senior Multi-Purpose Facility on Fairburn Road in Fulton County.

Some state and county leaders spoke at the meeting.

They said the new lines put African American candidates at a disadvantage.

State Sen. Vincent Fort and other leaders encouraged residents in the packed meeting to get involved with the current Fulton County redistricting plans.

"It's what you say, and how you feel about the issue," said Fort.

African American leaders believe the lines which are being redrawn by the state are reducing their representation. One at-large position would be eliminated. And two current African American county commissioners would have to run against each other for one position under the new map.

South Fulton County resident Ruth Lyles-Bailey was at the meeting.

"We've come too far. This is 2013. Why are we dealing with race at all? Yet this redistricting it's going to be about race," said Lyles-Bailey.

But not everyone thinks the new lines are about race. Bernie Tokarz  who lives in north Fulton County told CBS Atlanta News the new lines are needed.

"I'm not going to be the most popular person in the room," said Tokarz. "I think it's important we preserve one man one vote and this map does that."

We're told the same state and county leaders plan to take this issue to the steps of the state Capitol at the end of the month.

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