State senator's redrawn school lines taking heat in new lawsuit

WALTERBORO, S.C. (WCIV) -- The City of Walterboro is now part of a lawsuit challenging a controversial state law that redraws school district voting lines in Colleton County.

Walterboro City Council and the Colleton County School Board voted Tuesday night to join a lawsuit that will challenge the constitutionality of a new law that redistricts voting lines for the Colleton County School District.

According to Mayor Bill Young, Gov. Nikki Haley passed a law that took four school board members serving in four different districts and put them in two new districts, effectively forcing two of them out of office.

The law was written by state Sen. Clementa Pinckney and passed by the governor last month.

The school board has asked for the Attorney General to form an opinion on the matter. Until the law question is answered, school board elections can't go forward.

"It's a city and a county issue because of the way it was done. It was done with no transparency. It went through without any input from anyone in the county," said Young. "In a situation where we had Senators and Representatives who owed their office to the people in Colleton County, if the majority of their voters were in Colleton County this wouldn't happen."

Walterboro-Colleton Chamber of Commerce also joined the law suit. Young says the lawsuit will specifically challenge the language used in Pinckney's law.

County Council will hold a special meeting at 1 p.m. Thursday inside council chambers.

Colleton County could be the next local government to join the growing lawsuit.

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