For several years, the League of Women Voters of South Carolina has advocated for the SC Legislature to form an Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC), which would have taken the responsibility for drawing new district lines in 2020 out of legislators’ hands. It is fair to say that no matter what party is in charge, asking incumbents to choose their own voters can lead to incumbent or partisan gerrymandering. Sometimes incumbent protection is even built into the redistricting process by making “constituent consistency” one of the redistricting criteria.
Bills that would have created an IRC were never legitimately considered in the statehouse though, so the SC Legislature will convene a special session this fall after the census data comes out (in legacy format in August and then in a more user-friendly format in September) to once again draw their own district lines. To their credit, Senate and House leaders continue to assure the public that there will be opportunities for public hearings and testimony so that voters and community organizations can give input on district lines.
In preparation for drawing district maps that the League of Women Voters of SC will submit to the SC Legislature for consideration, we have formed a Redistricting Advisory Committee (RAC) to help inform our work. (What would have been good for the goose is good for the gander, we think!) These members represent different areas of the state, different political backgrounds, and have different areas of expertise, and we are pleased that they have agreed to give us their input on fair maps for SC voters.
Meet the Committee!
We look forward to working with this great group of community leaders this summer and fall; follow this blog to get updates on our efforts!
If you know someone who would be a good addition to our Redistricting Advisory Committee, you can still nominate them. The LWVSC would especially welcome nominations from rural areas of SC and the coastal counties, but all nominees are welcome. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with a note about your nominee.