To: Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General, DOJ, Civil Rights Division
Citizens Opposed to U.S. Department of Justice Approval of the Proposed 2012 Redistricting Plan f...
We, the undersigned citizens and property owners of Beaufort County, SC, respectfully request that the U.S. Department of Justice not grant its approval to the proposed 2012 redistricting plan for the Beaufort County School Board, which was recently submitted by the Beaufort County Council for review. We believe that the redistricting plan as presently configured is draconian in its impact on Black elected officials; punitive to elected officials who are not white Republicans; and undermines the voting interests of minority voters in northern Beaufort County.
Why is this important?
On Sept. 12, 2011 Beaufort County Council approved a 2012 redistricting plan for the Beaufort County School Board that will require 10 of the 11 current incumbent school board members to run for re-election in 2012, although several of them were just elected in 2010. We believe that the plan was designed primarily to dismantle the majority-Black leadership of the school board, although 3 of the 6 African-Americans members don't represent majority-Black districts. Also, requiring 10 incumbent school board members to run in the same year erases the safeguards created by staggered elections, and will disrupt the stability of the school district's governing body. We ask that the DOJ reject the plan because it threatens to undermine minority voting strength; drastically reduces Black representation on both the school board and county council board with an impact that is both draconian and punitive for Black elected officials who're not Republicans.