COLUMBIA, S.C. — With less than 100 days to the November 3rd general election, the South Carolina Democratic Party (SCDP) is pushing for change in the state's absentee process.
They filed an injunction with the U.S Supreme Court's South Carolina District. This comes after an April lawsuit against House Speaker Jay Lucas, Senate President Harvey Peeler and the South Carolina Election Commission (SCEC).
"The preliminary injunction is pretty much asking for to expand early voting, eliminate the witness requirement, expanding that absentee ballot excuse to include state of emergency, which allowed everyone in SC to vote without an excuse."
Shaundra Scott, SCDP director of voter protection says these changes would be the same ones that were allowed for voters during the June primary elections.
They also want to change the post marked deadline.
"As of right now in South Carolina, ballots have to be returned by 7pm on the day of the election," says Scott. "So our ask is that instead of it being returned by, that it be post marked by."
This will give voters extra time to mail in their ballots.
While the SCEC could not comment on pending litigation, the commission's executive director, Marci Andino, sent a letter to lawmakers last month.
Here are the emergency changes Andino recommends:
- Reinstate the "state of emergency" reason allowing every voter the option to vote absentee
- Allow voters to apply for an absentee ballot online
- Remove the witness requirement for absentee return envelopes
- Allow use of drop boxes for return of absentee ballots
- Provide election officials with more time to process absentee-by-mail ballots or extend the date in which counties must certify the results of the election
- Allow curbside voting to take place at designated locations instead of every polling place
With regards to Speaker Lucas and Senate President Peeler, WLTX was not able to hear from them, but we will provide an update when we do.
"This is something we should do to protect our election process," says Scott. "So, people don't have to choose between their health and casting their ballot."