A state senator has introduced legislation that would change how voting districts are drawn, with the goal to remove the General Assembly from the process.
Senate Minority Leader Nikki Setzler, D-Lexington, filed the bill that would create an independent reapportionment commission.
According to the Aiken Standard, the independent commission would draw new district maps and submit the plans to the State Election Commission. The proposal would be put to a referendum for voters to decide.
Under the legislation the inspector general would appoint a three-person review panel. That panel would, in turn, appoint a nine-member independent commission that would draw the new districts.
Setzler told the newspaper that an independent commission is needed because legislative districts are often drawn to benefit the incumbent. He said “gerrymandering” is always a possibility when district boundaries are re-drawn.
Reapportionment in all states happens after the U.S. Census each ten years. The next census is in 2020 and states will againt be required to redraw voting districts before the 2022 elections.