SAVANNA, GA (WSAV) – Chatham County Commission Chairman Chester Ellis says Republican lawmakers are playing political games that could put the county in the middle of a federal lawsuit.
Ellis said the controversy began earlier this week as local representatives of the Republican Republic tried to change the district’s transformation map. This is after another version has already been approved and submitted to the district and school councils back in January.
“We were told that if the school council and the district agreed on the map, the legislators would approve it. It was only this week that things started to explode, ”Ellis told a news conference on Friday.
The chairman says the new map is political, favoring districts 1 and 4 after Republican commissioners Patrick Farrell and Helen Stone complained about how their districts were divided on maps drawn up by the non-partisan metropolitan planning commission.
“I wasn’t happy with the way they divided the islands I represent: Dutch Island, Hope Island and Burnside Island,” Stone said. “They were going to cut them.”
Ellis says state Republican lawmakers have turned their backs and left the redistribution of the district commission and school board. He believes it is part of a larger nationwide effort to suppress voting and make constituencies more favorable to conservative candidates.
“We don’t need our card to go beyond the local delegation, because if we accept what was sent to me this morning – and I tell you that this morning I received a revised edition – if we accept it, we will” will be part of a lawsuit currently pending in federal court, ”Ellis said, referring to a lawsuit filed by the Justice Department against Georgia for its new voting law.
WSAV News 3 appealed to the chairman of our local delegation of lawmakers, Republican Ron Stevens, but has not yet received a response from him.