Meet the Members of our Redistricting Advisory Committee!

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, askingContinue reading “Meet the Members of our Redistricting Advisory Committee!”

We need your input: What is YOUR community of interest?

When drawing new districts, map drawers are tasked with considering many criteria. Some are fairly clear; for example, districts should be contiguous. Some are legally mandated; districts should comply with the Voting Rights Act. Some seem easy to envision but harder to define when you start analyzing. For instance, we say districts should be compact,Continue reading “We need your input: What is YOUR community of interest?”

Take Action: Ask Congress to Pass the For the People Act (H.R. 1)

To the voters and advocates who are disappointed with the lack of action on redistricting reform at the SC Statehouse – may we ask you to temporarily direct your attention to Congress? For the second session in a row, a bill has been introduced in Congress that would modernize our elections with a series ofContinue reading “Take Action: Ask Congress to Pass the For the People Act (H.R. 1)”

Announcement: LWVSC Forming 2021 Redistricting Advisory Committee

Elections should be decided in the voting booth, not the map room. In 2021, following the release of the decennial census data, legislative district lines must be redrawn to account for population changes, so that each district includes approximately the same number of people. Since 2012, the SC Legislature has declined consideration of bills creatingContinue reading “Announcement: LWVSC Forming 2021 Redistricting Advisory Committee”

Criteria for Redistricting: A Foundation for Democracy (Or Not)

Here’s the release of our recommended redistricting criteria PLUS don’t miss another important announcement at the end of this post! Ideally, legislators have no role in drawing the districts that they hope to represent. Drawing their own lines allows them to choose their voters instead of allowing voters to choose their representatives. However, the SouthContinue reading “Criteria for Redistricting: A Foundation for Democracy (Or Not)”

A Sneak Peek at South Carolina Population Changes

While we await formal census data that will be required for the redistricting process to begin (likely in a special legislative session), we can get a “sneak peak” of the population changes that will necessitate new district lines. Since legislative districts must legally include approximately the same number of people, areas that experience population growthContinue reading “A Sneak Peek at South Carolina Population Changes”

Supreme Court permits early end to census count

On Tuesday, October 13, the Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration could end the door-to-door counting phase of the census on October 15, two weeks earlier than originally planned. The administration had originally extended the deadline for counting from the end of July to the end of October in response to the pandemic. Later,Continue reading “Supreme Court permits early end to census count”

Witness Signature Whiplash

South Carolina has long had a requirement for mail-in absentee ballots that the ballot envelope be signed by the voter and by a witness. For the June primary, a federal judge struck down the witness requirement on the grounds that during the pandemic emergency, the requirement would place some voters in danger. The state electionContinue reading “Witness Signature Whiplash”

Governor Signs Absentee Voting Expansion

The SC legislature convened this month and among other actions being considered, they passed a bill that includes an expansion of the absentee voting criteria. As in the June primary, any voter can request an absentee ballot or vote early in person for the November, 2020 election without specifying one of the usual 17 permittedContinue reading “Governor Signs Absentee Voting Expansion”

Your Health and Your Vote

[Guest post from Lynn Teague, LWVSC VP for Issues and Action] No one should have to risk their health in order to vote. However, if nothing changes, that is what will be asked of the majority of voters in South Carolina on November 3. Current law requires most voters and the workers who assist themContinue reading “Your Health and Your Vote”