The Georgia General Assembly this summer will begin redrawing state and federal lines using the latest Census data based on population shifts. The assembly will draw the lines for the House's 180 seats and the Senate's 56 seats.
Cherokee's numbers, according to state Rep. Calvin Hill (R-Hickory Flat), are "equivalent" to one more state House seat. However, both he and state Rep. Sean Jerguson (R-Holly Springs) said that would depend on how the lines are drawn.
Local legislators said they also are unsure of how the past decade's growth will impact Cherokee's congressional representation. The county now is part of the Sixth District represented by U.S. Tom Price (R-Roswell). That district includes all of Cherokee as well as portions of Cobb, DeKalb and Fulton counties.
Jerguson said the legislature next month will begin holding public hearings across the state to engage the public on the process.
"It's our absolute desire to ensure we draw fair, constitutional and equitable maps at all levels," Jerguson said.
The closest meetings to Cherokee will be held in June in Cartersville and Gainesville.
Jerguson said the Cherokee legislative delegation wants to schedule at least two meetings in the county before the legislature's special session for redistricting begins.
Each district for the state House is required to have about 53,000 residents, Jerguson said.
Sen. Jack Murphy (R-Cumming) said each Senate district needs to have between 170,000 and 175,000 residents.
The growth in the districts of Jerguson and Rep. Mark Hamilton (R-Cumming) over the past decade is among the fastest in the legislature.
Jerguson, who represents parts of Woodstock and Holly Springs, saw his district grow by 72 percent. Hamilton, whose district includes Forsyth and a small part of Cherokee, saw a 76 percent boom.
State Rep. Charlice Byrd (R-Woodstock) welcomes the news of Cherokee possibly gaining a House seat.
"Cherokee has had growth in the last 10 years, and I think it would be a positive if we had a new seat," she said.
Murphy added he hopes the changes won't result in his current district shifting.
"I'm hopeful I will be able to keep at least two or three precincts in Cherokee County," he said.
As a result of the new census data, legislators will also redraw posts for Cherokee's Board of Commissioners and school board.
Hill said the Cherokee delegation won't begin that process after the federal and state lines are resolved.
Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers said the legislature will most likely begin local redistricting during the next session in January.
Jerguson said changes are "inevitable" at the local level as the county has grown. The delegation, he said would get input from incumbents and stakeholders before making any changes to the current boundaries.
When asked if the delegation could change how voters elect county commissioners and board of education members during the special session, Jerguson said that "has nothing to do with reapportionment."
"As a practical matter, I think it important and prudent to have any type of discussions like that with the stakeholder," he added.
Murphy said he hasn't given any thought to changing the way the two boards are elected.
Rogers said the delegation would want the commissioners and school board members to "drive that process" on their own, noting it would require a change in the law beyond redistricting.
"They know their constituents from that perspective better than anybody else," he said.
Personally, he said, he would like to see the county's seven school board members be elected by residents in their respective districts instead of the current process of running countywide.
When you have to campaign countywide, he said, "you can't spend as much time in your own specific district, and I think that's unfortunate."
"But that's up for them to decide," he added.