Making Democracy Work


The League of Women Voters supports policies that ensure fair and open elections through redistricting, encouraging voter registration and access to voting, and the use of voting equipment that makes it easier to validate the results of elections. To that end, the Greenville League supports: REDISTRICTING, Continued support for the League's one-person, one-vote position.

Partisan gerrymandering is a real problem in South Carolina, and the League of Women Voters is taking action to educate voters and to encourage advocacy to reduce partisan and incumbent-protective gerrymandering, so that voters are choosing their representatives and not the other way around.

The League's goal is redistricting reform in which district lines are drawn based on appropriate and enforceable criteria that do not favor partisan interests or incumbents, and in which the drawing is done by an independent, nonpartisan commission. Redistricting will happen in 2021 based on the 2020 census results, and we aim to achieve reform by then.

The League is mobilizing now to make the needed changes so that this next round of redistricting prioritizes the interest of voters and not parties or incumbents. Our immediate goal is to educate voters about the need for redistricting reform and to encourage advocacy with our elected representatives.

Why It Matters and What We Are Doing

Why it matters:
Political and racial gerrymandering distorts and undermines representative democracy by allowing officials to select their voters rather than voters to elect their officials. When done for purposes of racial discrimination or to ensure the dominance of one political party, gerrymandering runs counter to equal voting rights for all eligible voters.

What we're doing:
We promote transparent and accountable redistricting processes and to end hyper-partisan practices that don't benefit constituents. We believe responsibility for fair redistricting should be vested in an independent special commission, with membership that reflects the diversity of the unit of government. The League works in states across the country to pass ballot initiatives to institute independent redistricting commissions.  

Redistricting Humor

Apr. 19, 2017, John Oliver, Last Week Tonight discusses redistricting.  Funny and informative. The humor is designed for late night news.

Redistricting News

May 31, 2017, LWV joins other organizations in letter to President Trump requesting that the Census should be well-funded and in need of a highly qualified and established leader as Census Bureau Director.


Redistricting Position in Brief: Support redistricting processes and enforceable standards that promote fair and effective representation at all levels of government with maximum opportunity for public participation.

Redistricting Position:
1. Responsibility for redistricting preferably should be vested in an independent special commission, with membership that reflects the diversity of the unit of government, including citizens at large, representatives of public interest groups, and members of minority groups.

2. Every redistricting process should include:

a. Specific timelines for the steps leading to a redistricting plan;

b. Full disclosure throughout the process and public hearings on the plan proposed for adoption:
i. Redistricting at all levels of government must be accomplished in an open, unbiased manner with citizen participation and access at all levels and steps of the process,
ii. Should be subject to open meeting laws;
c. A provision that any redistricting plan should be adopted by the redistricting authority with more than a simple majority vote;

d. Remedial provisions established in the event that the redistricting authority fails to enact a plan. Specific provisions should be made for court review of redistricting measures and for courts to require the redistricting authority to act on a specific schedule:
i. Time limits should be set for initiating court action for review,
ii. The courts should promptly review and rule on any challenge to a redistricting plan and require adjustments if the standards have not been met.
3. The standards on which a redistricting plan is based, and on which any plan should be judged, must:

a. Be enforceable in court;
b. Require:
i. Substantially equal population,
ii. Geographic contiguity, and
iii. Effective representation of racial and linguistic minorities.
c. Provide for (to the extent possible):
i.Promotion of partisan fairness,
ii.Preservation and protection of "communities of interest,"
iii.Respect for boundaries of municipalities and counties.
d. Compactness and competitiveness may also be considered as criteria so long as they do not conflict with the above criteria

  e. Explicitly reject:
i.Protection of incumbents, through such devices as considering an incumbent's address, and
ii.Preferential treatment for a political party, through such devices as considering party affiliation, voting history and candidate residence.