Columbia, SC (WLTX) - The 2010 census showed that South Carolina has grown by 15.3% since 2000, gaining the state a 7th Congressional seat. Now both House and Senate subcommittees are working to redraw district lines in order to figure out where that seat should go.
Although South Carolina is the 10th fastest growing state in the country, not all counties are growing. In fact, the population has gone down in twelve counties, including Calhoun and Lee in the Midlands. That has some concerned that the rural areas of the state will not be properly represented.
According to Dr. Jerry Mitchell, a South Carolina cultural geographer at the University of South Carolina, people are leaving rural counties to move to urban areas because that's where the jobs are. Population has a lot to do with who gets that congressional seat.
Democratic Senator Brad Hutto of Orangeburg County sits on the redistricting subcommittee. Hutto said that although it's too early to say anything for sure, it's likely that the 7th congressional seat would be on the coast because that's where there has been a lot of growth.
The lines have to be drawn by April so that they can be submitted to the Justice Department for review. Citizens can begin filing to run for office as early as March 2012.
But South Carolinians do have a say. Over the next couple of weeks there will be a series of public meetings including one on Thursday night in Sumter. It's from 6:30 to 8:30 PM at the Central Carolina Technical College.
For more information about future meetings, click here.