Aiken, SC (WJBF)- Every ten years following the census, states look at redrawing district lines based on population, which means who you vote for in local and state elections could stay the same or they could change.
“This is an Opportunity for those concerned citizens to express those comments to policy makers,” said Senator Tom Young, District 24 senator and South Carolina Senate Redistricting Committee member.
It is federal law that after each census, state lawmakers take a look at areas of population growth and decline and redraw district lines to adjust to those changes, making sure all populations are fairly represented in each newly drawn area.
“In South Carolina the average senate district is approximately 111,750 people is what we estimate based on the 2020 census,” explained Senator Young.
The South Carolina Senate Redistricting Committee has been holding a series of hearings to gather public input on the redistricting of South Carolina’s 46 State Senate and 7 U.S. Congressional Districts.
“This is very important for those who may be concerned about their state senate district line or the Congressional district that they live in. If they believe that there’s a community of interest that is divided and should be all in one senate district or all in one congressional district, then they should come and testify.”
Senator Young says that people who come to speak should be sure to stay on topic.
“This is not the forum for people to come and testify to their concerns that they may have about their county council districts, their City Council districts, their school board districts or any other districts,” the senator said.
The South Carolina House of Representatives will be making their rounds soon as well.
“This is one of two hearings that will be in Aiken County. The second hearing will take place in September. That will be held by the House of Representatives redistricting committee.”
This is just the first step in the redistricting process. Once the hearings are complete and the data received from the federal government, the redistricting committee will get to work.
Senator Young said “The process will begin to begin to analyze the data, again to draw maps for both Senate Districts and Congressional Districts.”
Senator Young also said that even if you don’t have anything to say, it’s important to attend the hearings to find out how redrawing district lines may affect you.
The public hearing will be Thursday, August 11, at Aiken Technical College from 6:30 pm-8:30 pm.
CLICK HERE for the live stream link.
CLICK HERE to sign up to give testimony.