ROCK HILL — Winthrop University will host a panel discussion on redrawing electoral district lines in South Carolina at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
The South Carolina General Assembly votes on redistricting based on census data published every 10 years.
The event will explain the nuts and bolts of redistricting, said Scott Huffmon, Winthrop professor and director of the colleges Social and Behavioral Research Lab which produces the Winthrop Poll.
Huffmon will be on Tuesdays panel alongside Thomas Hauger, a geographic information system analyst in the S.C. House of Representatives, and Bryan McFadden, a Winthrop geography professor.
Recent statewide redistricting only slightly impacted the states 5th Congressional District, Huffmon said.
Numbers from the 2010 census show that Rock Hills population is 66,154 a 32.9 percent increase since the 2000 census.
The citys growth represents the second largest population spike in the state over the past 10 years, according to data on the U.S. Census Bureaus website. The city of Mount Pleasant recorded a population increase of 42.5 over the past 10 years, the data shows.
Drastic changes took place in areas such as S.C. House District 118 comprised mostly of Beaufort County where census data showed the district was about 81 percent above the ideal size of a House district.
Ideally, Huffmon said, there should be about 37,301 people in each district to ensure that no one is underrepresentated.
Tuesdays discussion will include the topic of gerrymandering a term that refers to the redrawing of political boundaries in order to establish or maintain a political advantage.
Both parties politically gerrymander to the best of their legal ability, Huffmon said.
Every state in the nation has its own rules for redrawing district boundaries. Thirty-four states including South Carolina leave the primary responsibility of redistricting up to the state Legislature.
Six states leave the redistricting work to an independent agency or bi-partisan commission something Huffmon said results in more fair, less political redrawing of lines.
Anna Douglas 803-329-4068