Redistricting could mean representation for Carolina Forest

With a population boom in the Carolina Forest Community, new lines are being drawn to give Horry County an additional seat in the South Carolina House.

Also with a 37-1 vote Thursday, the SC Senate approved new election lines for its 46 seats.

Redistricting is required every ten years to reflect the latest census.

Tonia Mahood lives in the Lakewood Community of Carolina Forest and says a new house district seat is long overdue.

"I really don't feel like we've had a voice representing us specifically in Carolina Forest, but I hope that will change," says Mahood.

Bob Smith lives just outside the proposed new district in the Legends Community of Myrtle Beach. He says a new seat to the county is unnecessary.

"We've already got enough people representing us," says Smith. "All this would do is create another person that we have to convince to get things done."

Carolina Forest Civic Association President Dennis DiSabato Jr. says the possible 56th District to the House would come from the Darlington County area to Horry County.

"It states in the South Carolina constitution that there can only be allowed 124 seats, so a district will be taken away from Darlington County to create this seat," says DiSabato.

He says the 56th seat gives the area an opportunity. "We appreciate the effort we've gotten from our representatives before, but the growth has exceeded expectations. We've grown 500 percent in ten years, and we need a voice."

DiSabato says Carolina Forest's population went from about 3,400 in 2000 to more than 21,000 in 2010.

The new district carves out the middle of Horry County and shifts lines across the regions. Along with the Carolina Forest Community, this district would include parts of Loris and the Forestbrook neighborhood of Myrtle Beach.

Each redistricting proposal must be approved by their congressional counterparts. If the proposals are approved, they will be sent to Governor Haley's desk for approval and then to the federal government for final approval.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.