DD2 moves to single-member district voting; all seats up for election in 2024
SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - Every single seat on Dorchester School District Two’s board will be up for vote in next year’s election, after a new law signed by the governor changes who they represent.
In the past, each member on the board represented the entire district, rather than just certain parts of the county in what’s called at-large voting. That system is no more, as the district has been split up into seven districts, making elections similar to those in Charleston and Berkeley County school districts.
A final version of the map can be found on the statehouse’s website. Most of the districts in the urban parts are separated by Dorchester and Orangeburg roads.
The largest district by cover area will be District 1, which encompasses the Beech Hill area and neighborhoods like Summer’s Corner and the Ponds.
Dorchester County Republican Chairman Steven Wright argued the move to single-member districts breaks up, what he calls, “a geographical monopoly.” He claimed most of the board members live in the Summerville area.
“All of this comes back to accountability, and under the current system of at large elections, it was very difficult for taxpayers to hold our school board accountable,” Wright said. “Whether it was the decisions that they make within school board policy. Whether it was the financial decisions that they make.”
However, others believe the move is politically motivated and doesn’t have the best interest of children in mind.
“In my opinion, as a citizen, not as a board member, but it only occurred because of the results of the 2022 election, when they did not get a majority on the board,” DD2 Board Member Cynthia Powell said. “I believe that made them go to plan B.”
These changes will take effect in the next election, and the law states that those in even-numbered districts will be up for reelection again in 2026.
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