League of Women Voters Proposed Maps
State Redistricting Information
August 18, 2023: The League of Women Voters of South Carolina files brief in Supreme Court Racial Gerrymandering Case
January 13, 2022: Testimony on House Plan 2 Senate Amendments 1 and 2 before the Redistricting Subcommittee of the SC Senate Judiciary Committee
Of the two very different proposals under consideration by this Subcommittee, Amendment 2 shows that by doing so it is possible to keep both Charleston and Beaufort counties whole in CD 1 while meeting equal population requirements. The resulting district is highly competitive,
We ask you to consider Amendment 2, the LWVSC proposal submitted to you, and other options that are less damaging to voter rights and to reasonable political dialogue than Amendment 1. Please reject the temptation to prevent voters from choosing their representative in November. Testimony on House Congressional Plan 2 Amendments 1 and 2 Before the Senate
January 12, 2022: Probable Last Chance for Congressional Map Testimony
Urgent need for testimony! The Senate Judiciary Committee’s Redistricting Subcommittee will meet on January 13, 12:00 p.m., to review and receive testimony on two proposed Congressional plans.
House Congressional Plan 2 Senate Amendment 1 is a revision of the original Senate offering. It fragments the area around Charleston along racial lines to yield no South Carolina districts that would be competitive in November. House Congressional Plan 2 Senate Amendment 2 is a major revision that provides two competitive Congressional districts and respects major communities of interest. View the maps and how to testify.
January 7, 2022: House Redistricting Meeting on January 10
December 29, 2021: Testimony on House Staff Congressional Proposal Alternative 1
The “Alternative 1” Congressional plan before the House Ad Hoc Committee is a racial and partisan gerrymander that should be rejected by this body. This map scores worse on competitiveness, proportionality, compactness, and splitting than the first map considered by this House committee and much worse than the League proposal. Further, the total percentage of the population of the state affected by county splits is increased, not decreased. Testimony on House Staff Congressional Proposal Alternative 1
December 24, 2021: SC’s New House Map Is Unconstitutional, Racially Discriminatory, Lawsuit Claims
A new federal lawsuit alleges South Carolina’s redrawn state House districts are unconstitutional and intentionally discriminate against Black voters and dilute their voting power, marking the sixth consecutive redistricting cycle in which the state’s maps have been challenged.
It also requests that the court set a deadline of Feb. 15 or earlier for lawmakers to adopt new redistricting plans for state House and congressional districts and asks that it order new redistricting plans in the event lawmakers fail to adopt constitutionally compliant ones. Read the article.
December 23, 2021: "New" Congressional Plan from the House
The new House map is quite similar to the first proposal from the Senate. It splits both Charleston and Richland County. While it may be said to respond to those who testified in favor of keeping Beaufort County in CD 1, it more directly responds to those who wish not to have the naturally competitive area in and around Charleston County drawn as a district. It would make all South Carolina voters irrelevant in November elections. A public hearing will be held on December 29. Read more and view the maps.
December 16, 2021: Testimony on Staff Congressional Proposal before the Ad Hoc Redistricting Committee of the SC House
The proposed Congressional map is not one that the League of Women Voters can be enthusiastic about, although there are positive aspects. Overall, the map is slightly more competitive and proportional than the current map, although it cannot be rated highly in either respect. Our greatest concerns relate to the treatment of regional communities of interest. Read the Testimony on the SC House Congressional Map Proposal
December 13, 2021: House Congressional Plan This Thursday and Redistricting Update
Today the SC House released their Congressional plan for public comment this Thursday. The Ad Hoc Committee will hear testimony on the House Staff Plan, the Senate Staff Plan, and any other submissions.
SC House and Senate maps have been approved by both houses and signed by the Governor. The League's final assessment is that the Senate map is a reasonable map in which the number of competitive districts is not reduced. However, the House plan is an extreme gerrymander with a very high level of incumbent protection. Only 15 House members voted against this plan. Read more and view the SC House Congressional Map Proposal.
December 7, 2021: All Over but the Shouting
November 30, 2021: Redistricting in the Race to the Finish
Public hearings on redistricting are, as far as we know, over for this cycle. We are in the final stages of redrawing South Carolina’s legislative districts for the next decade. We assume that the only Congressional plan made public to date, the Senate plan, may be adopted by the House, although other scenarios are possible. There are significant problems with this Congressional map proposal.
The House is scheduled to return Dec 1. The House plan, as adopted by House Judiciary, is an extreme gerrymander for incumbent and partisan protection. Whether there will be any strong opposition on the floor is uncertain. Read more.
November 29, 2021: Testimony on the Senate Staff Congressional Map Proposal
We are disappointed by the Senate’s proposed Congressional District (CD) map. Everyone who is engaged on this issue has realized that the most significant adjustments in the SC Congressional map would involve CD 1 and CD 6. Currently, CD 1 has far too many people within its boundaries and CD 6 is under-populated by a comparable amount. The largest adjustments must come in these adjacent districts.
The decision that has been made in the Senate Staff proposal is to gerrymander extensively to render CD 1 strongly non-competitive in favor of the Republican Party. Read the LWVSC
November 23, 2021: Senate Congressional Map Plan Released
November 17, 2021: House Judiciary Plan and Still No Congressional Maps
We are concerned that neither house has released a Congressional plan for public comment. This is especially disturbing because the House has now scheduled a return of the full body for floor debate on redistricting on December 1, 2, and 6. There is little time left.
The House Redistricting Ad Hoc Committee met again and forwarded their plan to the full House Judiciary, which met the same day. The plan was “tweaked” with a series of amendments. The House has not announced any opportunity for public comment on the amended proposal, but we can summarize the League’s evaluation here. Read more.
Proposed SC House Maps: Bad News, Disenfranchise Voters
Proposed SC House maps appear to be an extreme partisan gerrymander. If these maps pass, they will lead to the disenfranchisement of thousands of voters. Major communities of interest are divided, hundreds of precincts are split, and there are even fewer competitive districts. Read more.
My Turn: House, Senate Maps Differ on Competitive Districts
The proposed SC Senate map reveals little gerrymandering bias. However, League concerns about the map proposed by the House Redistricting Committee are broader. The draft House map produces only 12 districts in which the partisan lean margin is considered competitive. This map also fails to respect genuine and important communities of interest. Finally, analysis using widely accepted redistricting mathematical evaluation methods shows that the House map displays extreme bias. Read more.
November 14, 2021: Redistricting Moving Forward, for Better or for Worse
The League found that the proposed SC Senate map is in most respects reasonable and fair to the citizens of the state. We have concerns about the effects of the growth of Lowcountry suburbs on districts that have long been heavily minority and rural, especially District 39, but we don’t ask for revision that would lead to “packing” that or any other district.
We found the proposed SC House plan to be an extreme gerrymander, highly protective of incumbents, and extremely non-competitive. With more than 41,000 residents in each district, this means that the House plan would unnecessarily deprive more than a quarter-million South Carolinians of the right to be represented by someone that they choose in the November general elections. The damaging impacts would be felt by voters who identify with both major parties.
It is important for everyone to remain engaged in this process. We are a long way from the finish line. Read more.
November 12, 2021: League Testimony on the Congressional Map Proposed by the SC Senate Redistricting Subcommittee
Substantial population growth along the coast and south of Charlotte, accompanied by population stagnation in the I-95 corridor, requires adjustments of district boundaries, in particular boundaries associated with Congressional District (CD) 1 and CD 6. However, at present CD 6 has a very high percentage of minority voters, especially when minorities smaller than our Black population are considered. The current minority margin can and should be reduced. We believe that the best way to achieve this is to focus CD 6 on the Midlands and upper Lowcountry, withdrawing it from the Charleston area. Read more and view the SC Senate Congressional Map Proposal.
November 10, 2021: League Testimony on LWVSC and House Draft Plans
The League of Women Voters of South Carolina concludes that there is an extremely high probability that the House map is an extreme partisan gerrymander (in contrast not just to the League proposal but to current maps). We also find it excessive in incumbent protection and non-competitiveness. We urge this committee to completely rethink this unfortunate plan and consider the approach taken in the League proposal. Read the Testimony on the SC House Map Proposal
November 8, 2021: Two Redistricting Meetings (at Least) This Week
The SC Senate will meet on Friday, November 12, for public comment on their staff proposal for SC Senate redistricting. Late this afternoon the SC House Redistricting Committee released their draft S. C. House of Representatives plans on their website. They continue to expect public testimony at their Wednesday, November 10, meeting on plans submitted by third parties, although that testimony will have no impact on their plan. Read more and view the SC Senate and House Map Proposals.
October 21, 2021: League SC Senate Testimony
October 15, 2021: NAACP & ACLU Lawsuit; Oct. 21 SC Senate Meeting on External Maps
Civil rights groups have filed a federal lawsuit challenging the South Carolina Legislature's delay in drawing new redistricting maps. The Senate Judiciary Committee’s Redistricting Subcommittee will meet on October 21 to receive public testimony about submitted plans to them by external organizations. Read more.
September 29: League Releases Proposed Fair Maps
The League of Women Voters of South Carolina, in consultation with their nonpartisan Redistricting Advisory Committee, will be submitting Congressional, SC Senate, and SC House district maps to the legislature for consideration. Check out what fair maps would look like and watch the video presentation.
New September 28, 4:30 pm virtual opportunity to testify
The House of Representatives has added a new meeting at which virtual testimony will be accepted. It is scheduled for Tuesday, September 28, at 4:30 PM. In-person, virtual, and written testimony will be accepted at this meeting. Read more.
September 17, 2021: Senate and House Redistricting update
The Redistricting Subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee met today to discuss the guidelines and criteria to be used by the Senate and the process for third parties (such as the League of Women Voters and other organizations) to submit maps. House statewide hearings are not receiving the attendance that the Senate hearings did. Read more.
Redistricting in South Carolina August 2021 presentation
Members of the League have been giving public presentations on redistricting for several years. An August presentation provides basic information on how redistricting works, information on what we know about current districts, an update on what the 2020 census tells us, and comments on the overall process.
View the Redistricting presentation
Joint letters remind Redistricting Subcommittees of affirmative obligations
The League of Women Voters of South Carolina joined other fair maps champions to remind SC Redistricting Subcommittees of their obligations to comply with the Constitution and the Voting Rights Act. The letter also urged transparency, public involvement, and fair representation in the redistricting process.
Read more and review the letters from the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, American Civil Liberties Union, SC Conference of the NAACP, League of Women Voters of South Carolina, SC Appleseed Legal Justice Center, and SC Progressive Network
Redistricting SC 2021 timeline, expectations
From receipt of census data to proposed maps on the Governor's desk, read about the process, the timeline, opportunities for your involvement, and tips along the way. Below:
Elections 2020: the context
2020 SC House Districts, competitive (shaded, margin 10% or less)
2020 SC Congressional Districts, competitive (shaded, margin 10% or less)
Redistricting SC 2021: we can do better than this!
In states where legislators draw their own district lines, parties and incumbents are able to draw district lines to their own advantage; this is called gerrymandering. We don't want that for South Carolina.
Gerrymandering adds to hyperpartisanship. It is often the most extreme voters who turn out for primaries, and when districts heavily favor one party, there is unlikely to be real competition in the general election. As a result, winners hold views more extreme than most of their constituents, increasing polarization in the government.
Gerrymandering discourages competition within districts. 95% of 2018 legislative races in SC were either uncontested or were won by more than a 10% margin of victory. In 2020, over half of SC State House seats were not contested by a major party candidate (www.SCVotes.gov), and of those that were, the average margin of victory is the highest in the nation.
The League's position:
LWVSC supports implementing the League’s one-person, one-vote position by the following:
1. Drawing new district lines at all levels following the decennial census to reflect strict anti-gerrymandering standards. We believe that criteria for the map-drawing process should exclude partisan and incumbent protection and should not be drawn with the intention of reducing competitiveness. District lines should avoid splitting counties and precincts when possible. The process of drawing district maps should be open and transparent and include an avenue for meaningful public input. See our full recommended criteria here.
2. Redrawing precinct lines to conform to South Carolina House and Senate district lines after each redistricting, with a state-mandated minimum and a maximum number of voters per precinct.
3. Creating a nonpartisan and independent reapportionment commission to reapportion the South Carolina House, Senate, and Congressional districts.
What are the solutions?
LWV South Carolina is a part of a nationwide, nonpartisan campaign for redistricting reform. Our ideal solution includes an independent redistricting commission to draw district lines in South Carolina instead of having legislators draw their own lines. We supported bills in the 2018-2020 legislative sessions that would have given developed this commission, but the bills did not receive hearings.
However, there is still time to implement safeguards that will protect voters from the effects of gerrymandering for the next 10 years.
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