South Carolina
Congressional BoundariesDrawn by legislature
State BoundariesDrawn by legislature
Governor's PartyRepublican
Legislative PartyRepublican

Scored Maps from the Redistricting Report Card

South Carolina 2021 Draft Congressional Map

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Mon Nov 29 2021
South Carolina 2021 Draft Staff State House Map

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Thu Nov 11 2021
South Carolina 2021 Draft Staff State Senate Map

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Sat Nov 06 2021

Communities of Interest

Check out Communities of Interest collected in this state on Representable

Learn about Communities of Interest in this state

Census-related Redistricting Timeline Delays

Congressional

Alert:
Low

State Legislative

Alert:
Low

Process

State Legislature

South Carolina's state legislative and congressional districts are drawn by the Legislature by ordinary statute, and are subject to the Governor's veto. The Legislature can override vetoes with a two-thirds vote in each chamber.

Criteria

While South Carolina, like all states, must follow the federal requirements of one person, one vote and the Voting Rights Act, South Carolina’s state constitution does not list additional criteria. That being said, the South Carolina state Senate and House committees for redistricting adopted guidelines for both state legislative and congressional redistricting in 2011, requiring that districts be compact, contiguous, preserve political subdivisions, preserve communities of interest, preserve the cores of prior districts, and avoid pairing incumbents.

Public Input

While South Carolina law does not require public hearings, the legislative committee on redistricting held ten hearings between March and April 2011. In addition, the state Senate committee issued guidelines for citizens to submit their own maps for consideration. It is likely that there will be similar opportunities for public input in 2021.

2011 Cycle

In the 2011 cycle, plaintiffs brought a federal challenge (Backus v. South Carolina) against the state legislative and congressional districts based on an alleged unconstitutional racial gerrymander and a violation of the Voting Rights Act. The case reached the Supreme Court, which upheld the maps, summarily affirming the lower court’s opinion that rejected the plaintiffs’ claims.

Issues

Pitfalls

This will be South Carolina’s first cycle without the protections of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which was struck down in the 2013 Supreme Court case Shelby County v. Holder. In the absence of preclearance requirements to protect communities of color, observers should closely monitor every step of the redistricting process to ensure fair treatment for all.

Potential Reform

In the 2019-2020 legislative session, both Democrat and Republican state representatives sponsored SC H3054, a bill that would create an independent redistricting commission for both state legislative and congressional districts, as well as establish criteria that exclude protection of incumbents or parties. However, the Legislature went into recess without any subcommittee hearings or testimony on the bill.

Actions

In 2021, participate in the Legislature’s public input process.

  • Obtain South Carolina redistricting data from OpenPrecincts.
  • Start to plan out what defines your community – whether it’s a shared economic interest, school districts, or other social or other cultural, historical, or economic interests – and how that can be represented on a map. This will come in handy once the Legislature starts collecting feedback.
  • Use software tools such as Dave's Redistricting App and Districtr to draw district maps showing either (a) what a fair map would look like, or (b) where the community you believe should be better represented is located.

Read the Common Cause Activist Handbook on Redistricting Reform to learn about what reforms have been successful in the past, and what steps to take to enact reform in the future. 

Contacts

League of Women Voters of South Carolina

Fair Maps SC

Sources

All About Redistricting

NCSL

Ballotpedia