WE MUST KEEP UP THE PRESSURE
Updates since our August 3 Alert:
- The SC Senate is returning September 2 to take up election issues; however, the House remains committed to a return no sooner than September 15.
- Sept. 15 is a late date to be resolving these matters. Therefore, the League of Women Voters of South Carolina has expanded its efforts into the courts, with an amicus brief in the Duggins v Lucas case before the South Carolina Supreme Court. In our brief we stress the importance of a safe, secure election to all voters and ask for measures paralleling those in our letters to legislative leadership. (See letters, amicus brief, and more information here.
Please write letters to your state Senator, your state Representative, and the Governor, asking them to approve measures that will allow all voters the option to vote absentee by mail or early in-person and urging them to take other measures needed to provide a safe, secure, and accessible process for our November elections.
ADDRESS INFORMATION (with talking points below):
Mail your letters to your senator and representative to their home addresses (instructions for finding the home addresses are below) because they are not in Columbia and their office phones may not be staffed at this time.
Address your letter to the Governor to
The Honorable Henry McMaster
1100 Gervais Street
Columbia, South Carolina 29201
You can find your senator's home address by going to scstatehouse.gov --- Senate -- Members.
Then find your Senator and click on her/his name.
You can find your representative's home address by going to scstatehouse.gov --House - Members.
Then find your Representative and click on her/his name.
If you are not sure who your senator and representative are, then start by going to scstatehouse.gov/Find Your Legislators.
Suggested talking points for your letters:
Most important: Start with “I am writing as your constituent."
1. People in [name your town] are very apprehensive about the safety of our elections in November.
2. Please reinstate the "State of Emergency" reason that allows every voter to vote absentee, choosing absentee-by-mail, early in-person, or Election Day voting.
3. Please allow conveniently placed, secure drop boxes for the return of absentee ballots.
4. Please remove the witness requirement for absentee ballot envelopes.
5. Please allow voters to apply online for an absentee ballots.
6. Please extend the time allowed to count absentee ballots and extend the date by which counties must certify the results of the election.
The letters will be more effective if they are not all alike; therefore...
> Please use your own phrases and connectives, such as,
"I strongly believe..."
"Clearly, we need to..."
"People should not be asked to choose between protecting their health and exercising their right to vote.” (or that idea in your own words)
"I'm counting on your support for making real changes very soon."
"I will be watching for your positive action on this."
> Don't forget to mention your town by name, the concerns of family and friends for their own safety. Write personal letters, not as if from an organization.
> Stress that you are writing as a constituent. Point out to them that their action on these issues will be an important consideration as you choose your state leaders in future elections.
> You could also thank them for the wise action they took to help safeguard the June primaries, as you express hope and confidence that they will move quickly to enact these further changes for November.
This letter-writing is the most effective action every citizen can take at this time. Please share this information with your friends and neighbors and community groups, and encourage as many as possible to write. An outpouring of these letters will have a real impact.
If you have already written letters, a second set, focusing on a different talking point, would be great.
AND WATCH FOR FURTHER ALERTS IN THE COMING WEEKS REGARDING VENUES, STAFF, AND SAFETY MEASURES NEEDED ON ELECTION DAY.
Keep your envelopes and stamps handy! Mailed letters are very much more likely to be received and noticed than emails or phone calls!
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
For full information, LWVSC op-eds and articles, and other resources, please see the Issues/Election Management page on our website here.