South Carolina House to release its redistricting maps

State - Regional

FILE – In this Wednesday, July 28, 2021, file photo, people look over the current South Carolina Senate districts at a public meeting by a Senate subcommittee on redistricting, in Sumter, S.C. Two civil rights groups have sued South Carolina, saying state lawmakers are taking too long to draw the new maps. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins, File)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina voters should have an idea by the end of this week what both their state Senate and House districts will look like when they go to the polls next year.

The House committee handling redistricting plans to meet Wednesday and will likely release its map for its redrawn 124 districts based on population growth and changes in the 2020 U.S. Census.

Senate committee released a proposed map of that chamber’s 46 districts last Thursday and plans a public hearing this Friday.

Both chambers have suggested they will hold early December special sessions to approve the state House and Senate maps, as well as a U.S. House map they will collaborate on.

The biggest change for the Senate districts was taking the district currently represented by Democratic Sen. Dick Harpootlian of Columbia and moving it to Charleston.

The move was the conclusion of a cascade of tweaks to the maps as many rural and more Democratic districts in the rural areas between Charleston and Columbia either lost population or grew slower than the state as a whole from 2010 to 2020.

South Carolina added nearly 500,000 people over the decade, its population growing 10.7% to more than 5.1 million, according to the new U.S. Census population count.

But that growth was concentrated in areas like Horry County, Charleston and the rest of the coast, York and northern Lancaster County near Charlotte, North Carolina, and around Greenville and Spartanburg.

The House map will likely have several new districts in those areas.

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