MY TURN:  Groups already at work to make redistricting more transparent

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

By Lynn Teague, special to Statehouse Report  |  It was great to see your article on the crucial importance of the process of redrawing legislative district lines after the 2020 census. Improving this process is indeed our best hope for a better legislature in South Carolina. The public needs competitive elections and candidates who speak to a broad range of citizens.

Instead, we have groups of voters selected by legislators as likely to give them the support that they need for easy re-election. This is what is known as gerrymandering. The consequences include increased polarization in our General Assembly as well as voter apathy. Why should a politician consider a wide range of public concerns if his or her election is determined by a carefully chosen group of likeminded people? Why should voters turn out for an election that is already decided in a map room at the Statehouse?

The League of Women Voters of the Charleston Area has developed a very helpful tool for understanding the issues around redistricting. It is available online. [See embedded slide show below.]  We encourage all citizens of South Carolina to visit this website and become educated about this process.

The League of Women Voters is working statewide with other concerned groups to advocate for legislation to improve this important process. We are also preparing to be active in the redistricting effort following the census. We have formed a central core of concerned organizations that already includes AARP of South Carolina, the Conservation Voters of South Carolina, and the NAACP of South Carolina.  Several other groups have also expressed a desire to join this coalition.

We continue to reach out to a broad range of organizations and businesses interested in this issue to share in actions to make change happen. As in everything the League does, we are focused on a nonpartisan approach to this issue. Our goals are not to ensure the advantage of any party or candidate, but to protect the interests of citizens.

We also want voters to know that they have responsibilities as well. Most important – citizens should vote in every election! Drawing better district lines will help only if voters do their part by showing up, every time, for every election!

Lynn Teague of Columbia is the vice president for Issues and Action for the League of Women Voters of South Carolina.

Share

One Comment

  1. Using the data from the Census, a computer algorithm can provide the best result.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2014/06/03/this-computer-programmer-solved-gerrymandering-in-his-spare-time/

    As a technology consultant I think it’s the most equitable way.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *