Redistricting hearing wraps up in Senate panel

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) -- The work of drawing up South Carolina's new congressional and legislative districts begins in earnest next week.

The Post and Courier of Charleston reports the state Senate Redistricting Subcommittee Thursday wound up a series of 10 public hearings. The panel meets in Columbia Wednesday to start drawing new lines to reflect the latest U.S. Census numbers.

Some of the people who turned out for the final hearing in North Charleston Thursday told lawmakers they should draw competitive districts and not just protect incumbents.

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After the 2000 U.S. Census, state legislators spent nearly $3 million as the fight over the maps headed to federal court before becoming law. South Carolina's past Voting Rights Act violations mean redistricting plans must get U.S. Justice Department approval and survive legal challenges before becoming law.

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