SC Senate to return in September to discuss updating voting laws ahead of 2020 election

Updated: Aug. 17, 2020 at 1:39 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - On Monday, South Carolina Senate President Harvey Peeler (R-Cherokee) announced that state senators will return to session on September 2 to discuss updating election laws.

More specifically, the state Senate will consider changes to the laws that will allow citizens to vote safely in November due to COVID-19.

“If the COVID-19 pandemic is still prevalent in our State, the Senate must make plans to protect the voter and the vote,” said Peeler in a statement released Monday. “We don’t know what the situation will be like in November, but we need to prepare for safe and secure voting.”

In May, Gov. Henry McMaster signed a bill into law that allowed South Carolina voters to submit absentee votes for the June primaries because of the pandemic. Some of those ballots were sent in by mail.

Peeler said he is hopeful the General Assembly can come to an agreement.

Following the announcement, Sen. Nikki Setzler (D-Lexington) released the following statement:

“I am glad that our colleagues have come to the table and joined us in our mission to protect South Carolinians’ right to vote. When I sent my initial letter three weeks ago, requesting that the Senate be called back to address this important issue, I emphasized that we could not afford to wait. I appreciate that those concerns were heard, and we are now taking action.

“Election officials have been telling us that we must act quickly to ensure South Carolinians will be able to vote safely and securely in November. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic brings unique challenges to our upcoming elections that I believe the General Assembly must tackle immediately. We stand ready, as always, to address this in a bipartisan manner. No one should have to risk their safety to exercise this fundamentally American right.”

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