GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – The South Carolina House is getting ready to redraw district lines and will hold a public input and testimonial session Tuesday night for constituents to weigh in on.
Redistricting is done through the drawing of single member districts by population. The general assembly will use the 2020 Census numbers to redraw the districts based on population shifts— to represent the community.
Redistricting is how political power gets divided. It determines how much money a district receives in federal, state, and local funding and impacts how much money schools receive.
“Congressional districts are being realigned. Senate districts will be realigned. House of Representatives and these are in Columbia… Those 124 districts will be realigned,” Director of Elections and Voter Registration for Greenville County, Conway Belangia said. “County council districts will be realigned. School board districts will be realigned.”
He said the county has experienced considerable growth, so new lines will be drawn.
“While Greenville County growth is pretty good, so has the rest of the state,” Belangia said. “We still will probably be effected by the state wide offices and how they will be realigned.”
Belangia said elections happening this November will not be effected by any of the new drawings.
Redistricting is important because it determines who represents you. The person representing your district is how your needs are met as a constituent.
“So why should people care about redistricting? Because these are the lines that are going to determine how much your vote matters over the next ten years,” Co-President for the League of Women Voters, Lawson Wetli said.
She added it’s important to have fairly drawn districts.
“With the goal of for people including communities of color, marginalized communities, language minority communities, to have a shot to elect somebody to represent that community,” Wetli explained.
“So it’s very important for citizens across South Carolina to weigh in this to say, look out for me in my community,” said House Representative for District 22, Jason Elliott.
Representative Elliott said that’s why they’re holding these public hearing sessions..
“We’re going all around the state for this month listening to people in different communities all around South Carolina for them to give us input,” Elliott said. “To give their legislators input on the way they want to see their districts in their individual counties.”
And making sure your voice is heard.
“People can get elected and stay in office with only listening to a very small subset of voters and that’s not how we want it. In our country right?” Wetli said. “We want one person, one vote. We want true elections with real choices and we want our representatives to listen to us.”
That public hearing is set for Tuesday night at Greenville Senior High School. It will run from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
If you can’t make Tuesday night’s public hearing, there will be a virtual session coming up on October 4th. For all other public hearing sessions happening across the state, click here.