We are on our way to doing important work for South Carolina. We are so glad you have joined us to explore what we can do to ensure that voters choose their representatives, rather than representatives choosing their voters.
Here’s what the trail may look like as we see it now. It’s going to be a long trek –2019 through 2022.
During 2019 and 2020, we will support legislation for an independent redistricting commission and appropriate criteria for drawing election district lines. At present, a bipartisan bill, H. 3054, sponsored by Rep. Gary Clary and others, is our preferred approach but other bills have been filed that would represent a significant improvement over previous criteria and processes. Our main task at present will be to create awareness of the need for the commission and criteria reform and to build public support for these changes. We will also work on providing data to draw better lines after the 2020 census.
In addition , we will follow developments in the courts and in other states to see what we can learn from their experience. We will identify problems with existing districts at all levels that need to be addressed. And, finally, we will encourage citizens to respond to the census — the starting point for every good thing we want to happen!
In 2020-2021, we will seek to empower local Leagues to address redistricting for city, county and school board elections.
And, in 2020-2021, we will be on the lookout for opportunities to contribute to the process in every way possible. We’ll keep a close watch on proposals as they develop and comment on them. And, if the final maps don’t meet our standards or our criteria, we will be prepared to litigate — yes, litigate! We are going the whole way. So, pick up your backpacks, put on the boots, find those walking sticks — we’re off on a long South Carolina hike from the mountains to the sea — with a long stopover at the State Capitol in Columbia!
Linda Powers Bilanchone