What would single member districts for Charleston County School Board have meant for the 2018 elections?  

As an initial matter, let me say that personally I am not against all incumbents, nor against all challengers.  I was simply asked to analyze the issue of single member districts on electoral prospects for CCSD and the analysis that follows is my best effort to do that.  Having done the analysis and looked at the potential impacts in terms of accountability and electoral efficiency I am in favor of single-member districts for our school board. 

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The short answer to the question presented is: it is hard to say.  If we went with a plurality electoral system all of the current winners would have still won with the exception of Joyce Green who would have lost to Jake Rambo.  Interestingly, Mr. Rambo outperformed both Ms. Green and also the current Chair of the Board, Kate Darby in their home district.  However, if we went with a majority and run off electoral system as we have for County Council and our municipal councils none of the incumbents, nor Ms. Green, received more 50% of the vote so all would have required a run-off.   Notably, as a combined force the challengers in each race received more than 60% of the vote making the prospect of re-election an uphill climb for the incumbents, particularly since they almost uniformly reported raising no money for their elections.

 

In the data below pay special attention to the precincts that were included (St. As = precincts called St. Andrews followed by a #; N. Chas = precincts called N. Chas followed by the #; and East Cooper = every precinct East of the Cooper River).  Obviously we do not know exactly how lines would be drawn if single-member districts were formed, but we can hypothesize they would be roughly along the same lines as the current residential districts with some control for population so we attempted to capture that here.  

 

Here is the data:

 

  

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