Sen. Nikki Setzler sent a letter to Senate President Harvey Peeler, Monday, requesting the Senate be called back into session as soon as possible to address the impact of the ongoing COVID19 pandemic on voting rights and upcoming elections.
This request, said Setzler, comes partially in response to a letter sent by State Election Commission’s Executive Director Marci Andino on July 17, which urged the State Legislature to take action to protect voting rights amid the public health emergency before their scheduled return in September. In the letter Andino outlines several concerns that she believes require a swift response by lawmakers, which include the absentee voting process being overwhelmed and significantly delayed, a shortage of poll workers and polling places, and major difficulties enforcing social distancing at the polls.
“I have requested that President Peeler use the powers given to him in the Sine Die resolution to call the State Senate back into session before September to address these concerns,” said Setzler.
Setzler said now is the time.
“We cannot afford to wait until September to protect South Carolinians’ fundamental right to vote,” said Setzler. “The General Assembly has done a tremendous job working in a bipartisan manner to pass much needed funding for COVID-19 relief as well as addressing the election process for the June primary, and I believe these election concerns can be handled in the same way. We need to act quickly if we want to ensure South Carolinians can vote safely and securely in November.”