Dorchester County, SC - In a unanimous vote, the South Carolina House of Representatives has passed the H3691 bill, which will introduce single-member districts for the Dorchester County School District 2 (DD2) elections. State Representative Chris Murphy of Dorchester County praised the move, stating that "the bill will end years of geographic monopoly, ensuring every D2 citizen will have representation in their district."
The 3rd and final reading passage of H3691 comes after years of debate and advocacy by residents and community leaders who argued that the current at-large election system did not adequately represent the diverse interests of the DD2 community. Under the current system, candidates can live anywhere within the school district and are elected by all voters in the district, regardless of where they live. This has led to concerns that certain areas of the district have been disproportionately represented, while others have been underrepresented or ignored altogether.
With the passage of H3691, the DD2 school board will be restructured into seven single-member districts, each represented by a board member who lives within that district. This change will allow for greater representation of local interests, as well as more targeted and responsive decision-making by the school board.
The bill received "broad bipartisan support" in the House, according to Representative Murphy, with a final vote of 102-0. The bill will now move on to the South Carolina Senate for consideration.
If passed by the Senate, the bill will mark a major step forward for DD2 residents, who will finally have the opportunity to vote for board members who are accountable to their specific communities. The passage of H3691 is a testament to the power of community advocacy and grassroots organizing, and serves as an example of how local government can be made more representative and responsive to the needs of all citizens.