Redistricting a Necessary Process for Island Wards & Neighborhoods
In government, there are actions you are required to take for the benefit of the community. They may not always be exciting, but they are necessary.
One such act is redistricting, the once-in-a-decade process we undertake to determine which neighborhoods are grouped into wards. Last month, Town Council approved the final reading of an ordinance that redraws the boundaries for Hilton Head Island’s six Town Council wards. This was last done in 2011.
The new ward boundaries became effective on Tuesday, April 5, 2022. Redistricting utilized data from the 2020 federal census to ensure each Town Council member represents about the same number of constituents. The redistricting process ensured:
- Maximum public participation from our residents. It is important to note that we involved our residents in the process through a series of community forums and Town Council meetings. From the outset, Town Council worked to ensure a transparent, inclusive, and thorough process.
- Island wards were kept as contiguous and compact as possible. We heard from residents who advocated for keeping or putting communities in certain geographic areas within the same ward. This input played an important role in shaping the ward boundaries.
- Island neighborhoods and other communities of interest remained connected with each other within the same Town Council wards.
The result of our efforts is a ward map that combines input from the community with recommendations from staff and Town Council. Neighborhood populations in our wards range from 5,400 residents to 6,890 residents. They reflect a diverse mix of black, white and Latino residents.
With approval of the ordinance, town staff submitted the adopted ward map to the Beaufort County Board of Elections and Voter Registration, which is responsible for providing our citizens with new voter identification cards. The cards will have updated information on wards, voting precincts, and polling locations. For more information on voter identification cards, visit beaufortcountysc.gov/vote.
Most of our 37,000-plus residents remain in their existing wards. Others may have moved into a new ward with a new town council representative. It is important that you know if you have been shifted to a new ward and now have a different town council representative who will represent the interests of your neighborhood.
Our town staff has created an interactive map on our website to show new ward boundaries. You can search for your ward by entering your street address into that map on the town’s website at hiltonheadislandsc.gov/redistricting. Search results will display your ward and town council representative.
Redistricting not only happened at the town level, but it also took place at the county level. Beaufort County also has an interactive map on its website (beaufortcountysc.gov), where you can enter your street address and see if there have been any changes to your county district and representative.