The League Speaks

VOTE411.org: One-stop source for election information

Op-Ed by Nancy Williams, Co-President, published in The Bluffton Sun, September 20, 2018

VOTE411.org: one-stop source for election information

Racist Comments Decried

Letter from LWV National President, Chris Carson, condemning racist comments by President Trump during a bipartisan meeting with Congressional leaders, January 13, 2018

Friend,

We are appalled and disgusted by President Trump's racist statement made during a bipartisan meeting about Immigration yesterday.  Language and ideals like this have no place in our society, and certainly not in our White House. (For full text see below)

letter from league president on racisist comments

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Abbeville Ruling: State of SC Schools

Letter to the Editor of The Island Packet/Beaufort Gazette, December 1, 2017:

To The Editor:

Our state Supreme Court's decision to dismiss its landmark Abbeville ruling, 24 years in the making, marks another set-back in ensuring equity in education for all our state's students. That stark education disparities exist between the poorer and more affluent districts in our state was made clear to many of our citizens in the 2005 documentary "Corridor of Shame," which depicted the deplorable state of the under-resourced rural schools along the I-95 corridor.

The League of Women Voters of Hilton Head Island/Bluffton Area differs with the court's assessment that since the 2014 Abbeville ruling there have been "transformational" changes in education in our state.  Although some steps have been taken, they are small and fail to deal with an inequitable education funding formula in need of an overhaul.

Now that the court has retreated on this issue, it is the responsibility of the General Assembly to make good on its recent public assertions that it wants to ensure a 21st century quality education for all our students.  This means moving far beyond the "minimally adequate education" requirement posed in our state Constitution.

Maintaining the status quo is unconscionable.

Nancy Williams, Co-President League of Women Voters of Hilton Head and Bluffton Area

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Seismic Testing

Letter to Editor of The Island Packet/Beaufort Gazette, July 13, 2017

The League of Women Voters of Hilton Head Island/Bluffton Area strenuously opposes seismic testing. Regarding the proposed "Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Geophysical Surveys in the Atlantic Ocean," the League of Women Voters of Hilton Head Island/Bluffton Area strenuously oppose seismic testing in the waters off our coast as a prelude to possible offshore drilling for oil and gas.  These tests, which are loud and jarring, are detrimental to all marine life.  The economy of South Carolina depends on the health of the marine animals off our shore for fishermen, crabbers, and oystermen, and are important to our tourism industry.

Whatever benefits might be realized from offshore drilling, should seismic testing reveal substantial oil and gas deposits, are far outweighed by the substantial damage to our environment, health and quality of life.  The negative impact on our fisheries, business climate and tourism industry would be enormous.  Seismic testing and offshore drilling must not be permitted off the shores of the State of South Carolina

Nancy Williams and Dot Law, Co-presidents, League of Women Voters of Hilton Head Island/Bluffton Area

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Termination of Election Assistance Commission

Letter to Editor of The Island Packet/Beaufort Gazette, April 17, 2017

Along with the League of Women Voters of the United States, the League of Women Voters of Hilton Head Island/Bluffton area is very concerned about the current movement in Congress to terminate the Election Assistance Commission (EAC).  With continuing controversy about the accuracy, conduct and participation in American elections, this is not the time to abolish the only federal entity devoted exclusively to improving election administration on a bipartisan basis.

The EAC does invaluable work to improve our nation's election systems on a voluntary, non-regulatory basis.  It oversees the federal voting system certification program that sets standards for the upgrade of America's voting machines and that 47 states depend on to maintain their voting machines.  The EAC also improves accessibility at the polls for more than 37 million voters with disabilities.  Finally, local election officials rely on the EAC to provide best practices on voting and election administration.

The EAC instills confidence in our election system.  Rather than eliminating the EAC, Congress should provide the agency with resources and a renewed commitment to sponsoring and encouraging information  state and local officials.

Elections are the life blood of a democracy.  We urge readers of The Island Packet/Beaufort Gazette to join us in asking Representative Mark Sanford to oppose The Election Assistance Commission Termination Act.

Fran Holt, President League of Women Voters of Hilton Head Island/Bluffton Area

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Hilton Head National Golf Course Development

Letter to County Council, February 21, 2017

D. Paul Sommerville, Chairman Beaufort County Council 1509 Pigeon Point Road Beaufort, South Carolina 29902

Dear Chairman Sommerville:

The members of the League of Women Voters of Hilton Head Island/Bluffton Area urge the Beaufort County Council to move with extreme caution before approving a development as large as Scratch Golf LLC is proposing for the Hilton Head National Golf Course property.

The impact on the natural environment would be huge--new demands on our regional water supply, possible pollution of air and water, destruction of green space and wildlife habitat.  The impact on the built environment would also be huge--long lines on roads and bridges, greater use of energy, expansive impervious surfaces leading to erosion and water pollution and trapping of heat.  We are also concerned the development, as currently proposed, would overburden services provided by government including schools, the sheriff's department and fire protection.

As stated by the League of Women Voters of South Carolina, we believe in promoting "an environment beneficial to life through the protection and wise management of natural resources in the public interest by recognizing the interrelationships of air quality, energy, land use, habitat preservation, waste management and water resources."  We urge the members of the Beaufort County Council to proceed with such goals in mind when agreeing to the parameters of this proposed development.

Thank you for considering our views.

Sincerely,

Fran Holt, President

Sally McGarry, Natural Resources/Land Use Committee Chair, League of Women Voters of Hilton Head Island/Bluffton Area

cc:  Members of Beaufort County Council