Maps being drawn for redistricting after S.C. census data released
BEAUFORT COUNTY, S.C. (WTOC) - South Carolina census data is in, and maps are now being drawn for the redistricting that will re-shape Beaufort County over the next decade. There is a lot to this process, but it determines who represents you on the ballot.
The experts involved admit its intricacies, maps re-drawn and printed once a decade based on population data. For Beaufort County, there’s been a lot of change since 2010.
North and South Beaufort County is generally separated by the Broad River. The north end including districts 1 through 5, and the south - 6 through 11. After a decade of growth county wide, census numbers make it clear that the population of the south grew more than its northern counterpart, with districts 6, 7 and 9 now having the most people, around 19, 23, and 21 thousand, respectively.
Redistricting has to leave all districts with about the same number of people.
”You look for a target population and so the target population out of 11 districts is 17,011 and so we’re trying to shoot for that,” said Mapping and Applications Director of Beaufort County Daniel Morgan.
But Morgan says there’s more to it than just the total population.
“If we were to just go in there and look at populations, we could meet that, right? We could go in there and say ok split it up, find all these pockets and now we’ve got 17,011. But, because you’ve got to look at all the different types here; you’re looking at Hispanic, Black, White, Asian you’re looking at all the different... you’re trying to keep all of those together and keep communities of interest together as well.”
He tries to keep minority populations together so they can vote for their representation as a whole... the county reaffirms that.
“It’s the county’s duty to ensure that we do well thought out and fair district so that everybody’s vote counts,” said Beaufort County Public Information Officer Chris Ophardt.
After Morgan and his team finish their proposal for the map, it will be posted for public comment November 24 and finalized over the next few months.
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