One of the issues the Legislature will try and tackle this year is redrawing district lines–creating a 7th Congressional District. Representative Jenny Horne of Summerville says there are steps they have to take before deciding where the lines will be drawn.
There are only five southern states that are subject to the Voting Rights Act of 1964, and we have to get our redistricting plan approved by the Justice Department because we are subject to that law.
Horne says there will be an interesting discussion on redrawing the other six districts. She says the question is: What are the seven congressional districts going to look like?
What we are going to find is that our state has become more global, we have a lot more diverse population, and people do not segregate in the way of where they live, and housing and things like that. Those are things that are really things of the past. So, it’s going to be very difficult.
Horne says when it comes to the Voting Rights Act of 1964, South Carolina has evolved since then, and the law may need to change.
I think that Tim Scott is a prime example of the assumptions and stereotypes that were maybe valid 20, 30 or 40 years ago are not valid today.
Scott was the first African American Republican elected into Congress from South Carolina since Reconstruction.
Horne says, as of now, they are looking at placing the 7th district somewhere along the Grand Strand because of the recent boom in population. If this happened, the districts affected would be Congressman Scott’s and Jim Clyburn’s districts.
Horne says redistricting had not yet begun because the U.S. Census numbers were just released.