Currently, our state politicians draw the maps for voting districts.
They do this behind closed doors, using computer analysis designed to make the voting districts favor the incumbents so they can more easily get reelected. Sometimes they pack supportive voters into their own district; sometimes they draw the lines to move competitors into other districts.
There are many ways to rig the system in their favor. This is what is known as gerrymandering – politicians manipulating the voting maps to favor themselves. Politicians are choosing their voters instead of the voters choosing their politicians!
How and Why Gerrymandering is Bad! It eliminates competition – often only 1 candidate is on the ballot because competitors have no chance. South Carolina has the least competitive elections in the U.S. – about 70% of our elections have only 1 candidate to choose from and many others have only token competition. When voters have no choice, they feel their vote means nothing and they do not bother to go vote. Less than 20% of eligible voters in South Carolina actually vote.
When politicians are assured of being reelected, politicians become less interested in serving the voters and more interested in serving special interests who lobby them and donate to their campaign funds. They also become more prone to corruption. As evident in South Carolina, which has a sordid history of corrupt politicians. Also, when politicians are assured of being reelected, they become intransigent and more extreme in their positions. As a result, our government is in gridlock. Our state Constitution gives the people the ultimate political power.
Gerrymandering undermines our state Constitution and transfers power from we the people to them the politicians. This needs to stop!
How Can You Help End Gerrymandering in South Carolina?
The politicians will not stop gerrymandering unless they have to, because it puts them at risk of not being reelected. Many other states have ended gerrymandering by going to a Citizens Commission to draw the voting maps. This puts power back into the hands of the voters instead of the politicians. Voters in some states have done this by getting a statewide referendum on the ballot to go to a Citizens Commission.
Unfortunately, statewide referendums are not allowed in South Carolina, so we must put enough pressure on our politicians to make them place a constitutional amendment on the ballot to establish a Citizens Commission. With enough public pressure, this CAN be done!
We have to educate the public about what is going on in Columbia, and stand up to regain the power the Constitution intended us to have! GET INVOLVED!
Our committee is gearing up to end partisan Gerrymandering in South Carolina in 2021. This is THE year that our SC legislators will re-draw our voting districts lines at County, State and Congressional levels, and we don’t want them doing it without us.
GSAT is a non-profit, non-partisan band of concerned citizens like yourself seeking to attract new activists in neighborhoods, communities and towns that need their voices heard by their representatives before the maps are set.
When that public comment period comes in October, we need to be READY…TOGETHER! Get involved NOW! Stand up for our state Constitution and help end gerrymandering and political corruption in South Carolina! Thank you.
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