By April 1 of the year after each federal decennial census date, the County Council appoints a Commission on Redistricting (County Charter, Article 2, sec. 213). County district lines are redrawn to allow for changes in population throughout the County. Each district is drawn in a way that allows for balanced representation on the County Council and compliance with the 1965 federal Voting Rights Act, as amended. In Dorchester County, this process is performed under direction of the U.S. Department of Justice.
By November 15 of the year before the year in which redistricting is to take effect, the Commission is required to present to the County Council a plan of Council districts, together with a report explaining it. Within 30 days of receiving the Commission's plan, the County Council must hold a public hearing on the plan. If within 90 days after presentation of the Commission's plan no other law reestablishing the boundaries of the Council districts has been enacted, then the plan, as submitted, becomes law.
The Commission is appointed by the County Council, which also names the chair.
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