New US House maps in South Carolina heading to governor
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A new map for South Carolina’s U.S. House seats is on its way to the governor after the state House approved the plan Wednesday without any additional debate.
The plan makes minimal changes to the seven current districts, six of which reliably elect Republicans.
The House voted 72-33 to accept changes the Senate made last week. All the votes against the bill were from Democrats.
The basic templates for South Carolina’s congressional districts were drawn after the 1990 U.S. Census when the state created a district with a majority of minority voters and also ended up making the remaining districts more Republican. The only significant change since then happened after 2010 when the state added a seventh district, but kept the rest of the districts as similar as possible.
With Republicans holding a 6-1 advantage in U.S. House seats, there was little desire among their members to make significant changes beyond balancing out the 500,000 people South Carolina added in the past decade.
Democrats and civic groups said the plan unfairly amplifies Republican power and pulls apart communities to dilute minority strength into just one district.
Both sides expect a lawsuit over the map. Filing for the new districts are set to begin March 16 with primaries in June.
A federal lawsuit has already been filed over the South Carolina House maps, which were approved along with the Senate districts in December.