A South Carolina state representative introduced two bills Tuesday that would place redistricting power in the hands of voters instead of politicians, a proposal that has had little movement in the past. “We need to change this system of politicians picking voters and get back to voters picking the politicians,” said bill sponsor Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter, an Orangeburg Democrat who announced the bills on the second floor Statehouse lobby surrounded by supporters. The proposed Citizens Redistricting Commission would create a 14-member commission, two members representing each congressional district. Eligible voters who qualify for the job apply and go through a jury selection process before securing a spot on the commission. One of the qualifications for the job is not holding a position in office.
The second bill is a joint resolution to get a constitutional amendment added to the November 2020 ballot where voters would decide who has redistricting power.
South Carolina state and congressional district lines are drawn by the state legislature. Critics of the current process said it is unbalanced and does not represent democracy.
“It’s time to do redistricting a bit different,” Cobb-Hunter said. “The system is broken, and we need to fix it.”