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Early Voting and USC Trustee Bills Advance Ahead of Looming Adjournment

The South Carolina State House

With just nine legislative days remaining in this year’s session of the state legislature, lawmakers are focused on enacting a handful of priority bills ahead of next month’s adjournment.

The state Senate gave final approval this week to the bill that would make South Carolina the 45th state to allow a period of early voting before election day. The state would have two weeks of early voting at various locations in each county … and require absentee ballots to be cast only by mail.

The bill would also make voter fraud a felony, and require audits of at least five percent of votes cast in each county.

Another bill supporters are hoping to pass before adjournment would remove, and then restructure the current governing board of the University of South Carolina. The bill passed unanimously in the House, and is now in the Senate’s Education Committee. Lawmakers are concerned with what they term as meddling by board members in the day to day operations of the university. To underscore those concerns, a legislative screening committee this week held-up the re-election bids of five veteran USC Board members including the chairman and vice chairman.

Russ McKinney has 30 years of experience in radio news and public affairs. He is a former broadcast news reporter in Spartanburg, Columbia and Atlanta. He served as Press Secretary to former S.C. Governor Dick Riley for two terms, and for 20 years was the chief public affairs officer for the University of South Carolina.