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Redistricting

  • Democratic senators say they want more information about how staff members came up with the proposed new maps for U.S. House seats before they can support them. The new maps didn't make wholesale changes in South Carolina's seven U.S. House districts. The biggest changes are around Charleston where more white and likely Republican voters were moved from the majority Black 6th District represented by Democrat Jim Clyburn and into the 1st District represented by Republican Nancy Mace. Joe Cunningham, who in 2018 became] the only Democrat to flip a U.S. House seat in South Carolina in 35 years, says the maps looked like they were drawn by a partisan hack trying to assure Republicans win.
  • South Carolina's work to draw new districts after last year's U.S. Census should get closer to completion this week. On Monday, the state Senate committee handling redistricting will hold a public meeting about its proposed U.S. House maps released last week. Then on Wednesday, the full House returns to the Statehouse to take up their 124 redrawn districts. The South Carolina League of Women Voters have criticized the new maps for both the U.S. House and the South Carolina House. They say they concentrate more on protecting Republicans and incumbents than providing for fair, competitive races.
  • The South Carolina Senate has released its proposed U.S. House districts for next year's elections, which don't make significant changes in the previous districts. Preliminary analysis of the maps show the state would likely continue to elect six Republicans and one Democrat to the U.S. House with the new districts, which must be approved by the Senate and House and survive any legal challenges. The main changes are in the Charleston area, which because of rapid growth changed some areas in the 1st District now represented by Republican Nancy Mace to the 6th District, now represented by Democrat Jim Clyburn.
  • State lawmakers will convene next month to consider plans to re-shape state House and Senate districts for the next decade. Preliminary maps using new population data from the 2020 Census indicate that most incumbent legislators will have districts to their liking, and that Republicans will maintain their commanding majorities in both bodies.
  • The South Carolina House will return to Columbia to meet in a special session about redistricting in early December. House Speaker Jay Lucas said the House will first meet at 2 p.m. Dec. 1 with the primary focus on approving the new state House, Senate and U.S. House districts based on 2020 U.S. Census data. The chamber may also be in session on Dec. 2 and Dec. 6 if necessary. The Senate hasn't announced the dates it might meet in special session. But senators are expected to gather in early December too because that would leave three months for legal challenges about the new maps to be resolved before filing begins in March.
  • A South Carolina House committee on Tuesday approved a proposed map to shape the state's House districts for the next decade.
  • South Carolina's rapidly growing coastal and suburban population means there could be five House districts and one Senate district in the 2022 election where lawmakers are placing two incumbents. The maps released by each chamber show three of those House races involve Democrats and two involve Republicans. One of those House races would involve longtime Rep. Jerry Govan and fellow Democratic Rep. Russell Ott. The new maps would likely not significantly change the Republicans 81-43 advantage over Democrats in the House and 30-16 advantage in the Senate. The maps must be approved by committees, by the full House and Senate and survive any legal challenge.
  • 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. A Senate committee released a proposed map of that chamber's 46 districts last Thursday and plans a public hearing this Friday.
  • A proposed map of new South Carolina Senate lines based on 2020 U.S. Census data moves one district from Richland County to faster growing Charleston County. But the map appears to keep most other senators in their current districts. A committee of senators gave preliminary approval to the new map Thursday. They plan a public hearing on the new districts on Nov. 12 and the entire Senate could consider redistricting at a special session in December. The biggest change is taking the Senate district currently represented by Democratic Sen. Dick Harpootlian of Columbia and moving it to Charleston.
  • Leading South Carolina Republican lawmakers are dismissing allegations they're taking too long to draw new congressional and legislative districts. The response came in a filing this week by attorneys for state House Speaker Jay Lucas and chairmen of two House committees presiding over the process. It's part of a lawsuit from civil rights groups against Gov. Henry McMaster, state election officials and lawmakers over the yet-to-be-redrawn boundaries. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the American Civil Liberties Union say time is running out for potential candidates to research new districts and settle any lawsuits.