COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSPA) — A Senate Redistricting subcommittee met Thursday to go over the redistricting map submissions they have received for the state’s 46 Senate districts.
In South Carolina, state lawmakers are responsible for drawing political lines during the redistricting process. Political organizations have said in the past lawmakers typically draw the maps to protect incumbents.
Groups like the League of Women Voters of South Carolina, ACLU, and the South Carolina chapter of the NAACP submitted their map ideas to the subcommittee. Thursday they spoke with the panel of lawmakers about their submissions.
They urged lawmakers to minimize the splitting of counties, cities and towns while drawing district lines.
They also said they want to see more competitive districts in South Carolina.
“Safe districts are safe because they are very unbalanced in their partisan reference,” said Lynn Teague with the League of Women Voters. “The more extreme the unbalance, the easier it is for representatives to focus on a subset of constituents, their most reliable primary voters. Leaving others mostly ignored in and out of campaign season.”
Some state GOP leaders in charge of the redistricting process have been named in a federal lawsuit. The NAACP and ACLU claimed lawmakers have taken an ‘unnecessary delay’ in putting together these maps.
Lawmakers named in the litigation responded this week calling the lawsuit premature.
“The Senate should revisit its process immediately to make sure there is time for meaningful consideration and analysis for the public to digest it’s proposed maps and for the courts to adjudicate any constitutional claims ahead of the 2022 election cycle,” said SC NAACP President Brenda Murphy.
When the maps are finalized, the district lines will stand for the next ten years and won’t be updated until after the results of the 2030 US Census.
The subcommittee is taking map submissions for the state’s seven Congressional districts until November 1st. For more information you can click or tap here.