Since the COVID-19 emergency began in March, there hasn’t been much redistricting news in South Carolina. There wasn’t much movement on our House bill or any of the Senate bills following last February’s League Lobby Day. With the emergence of the virus, legislative action was significantly curtailed, and there is no expectation that those bills will move forward in time to affect the process of drawing maps after the current census.
As for the census, the national survey has been extended through October and final results are not expected until April, 2021. If you haven’t filled out your census forms, please do it now! Visit https://my2020census.gov/. Accurate counts are critical for drawing district maps and for getting our fair share of funds for a number of federal programs.
So the next phase of activity for redistricting will be spring of 2021. We will be back keeping you up to date on the League’s activities regarding the mapping process as we get closer to that time. Meanwhile, there is an election coming up on November 3, 2020 and there is a lot of news and a lot of League action under way related to that. The original plan for the blog was to focus on redistricting (while there was a chance to move the legislation), but now we plan to expand our focus to cover election-related matters. Those include voting safety and security, technology, how to get information, and more. So watch this space!
Recent Election Developments
In recent news:
- The state election commission announced that they would pay postage for absentee ballots returned by mail.
- The commission also wrote to the legislature requesting action to ensure that elections are safe in the face of the pandemic. They requested that the “state of emergency” excuse be reinstated for absentee voting, allowing drop boxes for absentee ballots, and to limit curbside voting to designated locations. They also requested adjustments to the absentee voting process to provide more time for counting the expected increased volume of absentee votes. The legislature will return in September to complete the budget, but it is not known if they will take up these questions.
We urge readers to write to your state representatives and senators to support these safety measures for the November election.
The League of Women Voters is working for sage, secure, and accessible elections through advocacy and voter services.