Senator calls for veto of Gwinnett maps

LAWRENCEVILLE -- A Gwinnett senator appealed to the governor Monday to veto county commission and school board maps he says violate the Voting Rights Act.

Sen. Curt Thompson, D-Tucker, wrote a letter to Gov. Nathan Deal saying both boundaries are not fair to black voters, but mostly he complained that Republicans controlling the process were trying to preserve power.

"Members of the minority party were not even shown the proposed district map and lines prior to it being voted on," Thompson wrote in his letter to the governor. "I hope that you will veto this legislation and allow these important boundaries to be drawn with the full benefit of all the Gwinnett delegation."

Sen. Don Balfour, R-Snellville, who drafted the county commission version, said Thompson and other Democrats did not produce their own proposal and instead disparaged the GOP versions without a thorough look.

"It's a sham," he said. "No matter what we had come up with he would have said they violated (the Act)."

Along with statewide Congressional and House and Senate maps, the boundaries must be "pre-cleared" by either the Justice Department or a judicial panel.