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The county has set up a web page at gtcounty.org/redistricting to make it easy for residents to find the latest updates and all the information they need about redistricting in one place. Through its public information office, the county is also working with local media and using social media and other platforms, such as its monthly newsletter, to put information into the hands of the public. Updates are also being posted to the homepage of the county’s website and directly emailed or text messaged to residents who have signed up for news alerts and notifications from Georgetown County. Public meetings are being held in communities across the county. Recordings of these meetings are also being made available online at YouTube.com/gtcountysc to allow as many people as possible to watch the meetings and submit their comments on the redistricting plans.
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Every 10 years, districts on the federal, state and local levels must be redrawn to ensure each district is substantially equal in population. This process, called redistricting, is important in ensuring each fair representation for every person. Georgetown County is responsible for drawing County Council Districts. School Board members also use the same district lines as County Council. On the county level, redistricting helps ensure every council member represents the same number of constituents. Based on the 2020 census, every Georgetown County Council district should have as close to 9,058 residents as possible.
Redistricting determines which neighborhoods and communities are grouped together into a district for purposes of electing a council representative. The County Council will seek input in selecting the next district map, which will be in place for the next decade. You have an opportunity to share with Council your thoughts on how district lines should be drawn to best represent your community. Three public meetings have been scheduled to present draft maps and gather public input. Public comments may also be submitted online at gtcounty.org/redistricting. Public input meeting dates are as follows:
In addition to being on display at public input meetings in January, the three draft redistricting maps are available for the public to review and comment on at gtcounty.org/redistricting.
The current council district map is available as a layer on the county’s GIS mapping system and can be accessed via gtcounty.org/redistricting. The current map can be overlayed over the draft redistricting plans to allow residents to compare the two in detail.
Georgetown County wants as many residents as possible to be involved in the redistricting process. Residents can be involved by attending one of the following public meetings:
Public comments will also be accepted at Georgetown County Council meetings leading up to adoption of a redistricting plan. Council meetings are scheduled for Jan. 25 and Feb. 8 at 5:30 p.m. in Council Chambers. Additionally, public comments may be submitted online at gtcounty.org/redistricting.
In counting population, the entire nation is divided into census blocks. Census blocks are statistical areas bounded by visible features such as roads, water bodies and railroad tracks, and by nonvisible boundaries such as property lines, city, county and school district lines. In a city, a census block looks like a city block bounded on all sides by streets. Census blocks in suburban and rural areas may be large, irregular, and bounded by a variety of features. By law, the Redistricting Data Program provides states the opportunity to specify where census blocks will be. Local governments do not determine where census blocks are and the county cannot split census blocks during redistricting. Census blocks may be viewed as an overlay on proposed redistricting maps in the county’s GIS system. A link to the system and a how-to video on how to use it are available at gtcounty.org/redistricting.