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2022 SC elections likely to use maps passed by lawmakers

February 26, 2022 GMT

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Possible federal trials over whether South Carolina’s new election districts discriminate against Black voters have been delayed several months, making it likely the new maps will be used for U.S. House and state House elections in 2022.

The NAACP, which sued the state over the maps, said a crushing amount of evidence that needed to be produced and reviewed along with a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in an Alabama case showing the justices were reluctant to redraw maps close to elections led the civil rights group to ask for the delays, according to court records reviewed by The State newspaper.

State election officials are now planning to use the districts approved by the General Assembly when filing for candidates starts on March 16. Party primaries are in June with the general election in November.

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“Prior to (last week), we recognized a possibility — and arguably a likelihood — that things could be delayed. We think that’s not likely now,” State Election Commission spokesman Chris Whitmire said.

There is a small possibility the lines could change. Lawyers for the state are discussing a possible settlement with the NACCP and others.

But the federal trial over the new districts set for the beginning of March has been postponed. Both sides are asking to old a trial in mid-May for the state House seats and September for the U.S. House maps if they can’t settle their dispute.