Former U.S. Rep. and gubernatorial candidate Joe Cunningham announced a campaign to mobilize South Carolina voters against gerrymandering.
Cunningham's Keep Charleston Together campaign targets the process used to redraw U.S. House districts, which is often criticized as influencing election outcomes to favor a specific political party. The campaign will attempt to educate voters about South Carolina's proposed congressional maps.
Last week, the South Carolina House and Senate overwhelmingly approved the latest district maps, which utilized the most recent census data. If approved by the legislature in January, the maps will stand until the next census in a decade.
“It splits Charleston County into two districts - one for white residents and another for Black residents," Cunningham said, referencing a proposed district that would connect the Columbia and Charleston areas. "It takes residents of West Ashley and Johns Island out of the Charleston-based district and puts them in a Columbia-based district over 100 miles away."
The Associated Press has suggested the maps will likely not change the political landscape of the state, but other groups have voiced problems with the proposals.
"Our concern is that state Senate and House districts are being drawn in a manner that minimizes and dilutes the votes of Black citizens," the South Carolina Coalition of Black Communities said last month.