LWVSC Lobby Day: LWV Centennial and Redistricting Reform, February 12, 2020

This week marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the League of Women Voters. To commemorate the League’s creation, members of the South Carolina League will meet at the SC State House in Columbia on Wednesday, February 12 to lobby our senators and representatives in support of redistricting reform. Space is limited due to restrictions on the size of our organizing room, but there are still a few spaces left. Because of the space limitations, we do ask that you get tickets if you plan to attend. Details of the event and tickets are available here.

Below is a summary of our position.

Redistricting Reform Needed in South Carolina

  • Legislative and Congressional district lines will be redrawn in 2021following the census, so that districts once again have equal numbers of people. Those maps will be in place until 2031.
  • Legislators draw their own district lines in South Carolina. In states where parties and incumbents are allowed to draw district lines to their own advantage, the result can be uncompetitive elections and a polarized, more partisan legislature.
  • 95% of 2018 legislative races in SC were either uncontested or were won by more than a 10% margin of victory! This is in part the result of where people live in our state, but district lines have made the problem of noncompetitive districts worse.
  • Successful policy-making on important issues like public education funding and healthcare is hampered by gerrymandering. After districts have been drawn to favor an incumbent or particular political party, there is little incentive for legislators to listen to voters or compromise with their fellow legislators, because they have their next election sewn up!
  • SC voters deserve an independent redistricting commission. House Bill 3054 (which has bipartisan support in the State House) would create this commission, which wouldn’t be able to use partisan or incumbent criteria when drawing maps..
  • According to a 2018 Winthrop Poll, the majority of South Carolinians, regardless of party, want to end legislators drawing their own district lines.
  • On Wednesday, we will be at the State House telling our legislators that elections should be decided in the voting booths, not the map room.We hope other concerned citizens will join in this Day of Action asking for H. 3054 to get a committee hearing. 

So come on out on Wednesday and support us if you can, and contact your state senators and representatives to support the cause. We need your voice!

Published by Matthew Saltzman, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences, Clemson University. President, the COIN-OR Foundation, Inc. Director for Redistricting, League of Women Voters of South Carolina

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