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Senate moves forward with Congressional redistricting map

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 14-8 in favor of Senate Amendment map one.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The process of finalizing a new congressional district map continued Wednesday as the Senate Judiciary Committee met and voted 14-8 

The version they picked is known as "Senate Amendment Map One."

This map is similar to existing congressional lines, but Republicans and Democrats disagree on whether it's fair. 

The vote fell mainly along party lines, as Democrats and Republicans debated whether Charleston should be split up or kept together. 

Senator Dick Harpootlian of Lexington and Richland counties voted against Senate Amendment Map One. 

“I think the Republicans are sacrificing the local interests of the people of South Carolina to give some advantage to the national Republican Party, and that’s the problem," said Harpootlian. 

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Harpootlian is in favor of Senate Amendment Two, known as the Whole County Map, which keeps most counties intact. It's a concept Senator Chip Campsen disagrees with. 

“This notion that you're gonna have one congressman representing major metropolitan areas doesn’t happen anywhere else in the state," said Campsen. "It doesn’t happen in Richland county, it doesn’t happen in Greenville, and it hasn’t happened in Charleston since the 1990s.”

Harpootlian said he's not giving up on Senate Amendment Two and will bring it to the Senate floor for debate. “Oh, honey I'm speaking my mind,” Harpootlian said.

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Wednesday's meeting is just one step in the lengthy process of finalizing the district map and it's too early to tell what the result will be. 

"You can't ever predict with much accuracy what's going to happen in the legislative process," Campsen said. "So, we'll have a spirited debate and each side will make their case, and we'll end up taking a vote and see how it goes."

Lawmakers tell News 19 the maps could be discussed on the senate floor as early as Thursday. If a map is approved, the House and Senate will meet in a conference committee to vote on a final plan to then send to the Governor for approval. 

RELATED: Lawmakers return to State House, begin new legislative session

If the map isn't approved, the Senate will take it up next week. 

Last week, over 70 people signed up to speak their minds about the maps during a redistricting meeting. 

The Senate Redistricting Committee has the map proposals posted on their website.

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