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  • This episode of the South Carolina Lede for October 28, 2023 is dedicated to local elections and we take that deep dive with South Carolina Public Radio’s Scott Morgan and his in-depth report on why turnout is so low in local elections.
  • While Greenville gears up for the first contested mayor's race in a lot of Novembers, politicos right, left, and neutral weigh in on why you really need to care about what happens downtown.
  • According to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, more than 11% of voters with disabilities experienced some type of difficulty voting in 2020. In South Carolina, a new campaign aims to reduce that number by promoting voter registration, voter education and voter encouragement among young people with disabilities.
  • The Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether South Carolina's congressional districts need to be redrawn because they discriminate against Black voters. The justices said Monday they would review a lower-court ruling that found a coastal district running from Charleston to Hilton Head was intentionally redrawn to reduce the number of Black Democratic-leaning voters to make it more likely Republican candidates would win.
  • South Carolina election officials are not anticipating extremist activity. But they're not ruling it all the way out, either.
  • South Carolina begins regular early voting across the state for the first time Tuesday. Legislators passed and the governor signed into law a bill allowing anyone to cast a ballot without an excuse for the two weeks before Election Day in the same way they would by going to the polls. South Carolina's primaries are June 14 and early voting is available every day except Sundays. The procedure to vote is just the same as on Election Day.
  • South Carolina election officials are preparing for early voting for the first time in next month's primaries. It's a different approach in an era where many other states are passing laws to make it harder to cast ballots early. Republican Gov. Henry McMaster held a ceremonial bill signing Wednesday afternoon. He actually put his pen to the act on Friday so that local election officials could have as much time as possible to plan for the start of early voting on May 31. The bill allows for two weeks of early voting for the June 14 primaries. It also makes voting fraud a felony and restricts absentee ballots to mail-in only.
  • South Carolina senators have unanimously approved a compromise that would allow the state to hold true early voting. The House quickly approved the bill raising the possibility voters could head to the polls for two weeks before the June 14 primary. Senators decided Wednesday to add qualifications for election board members and the executive director and give legislative leaders permission to ask a court to let them kick out anyone who doesn't meet those requirements. They dropped their initial insistence for the Senate to approve the governor's appointments to the state election board. The governor will likely sign the bill and lawmakers say early voting could be in place by the end of May. State election officials didn't immediately respond to a question if that is possible.
  • The chances of having early voting in upcoming elections in South Carolina appears to be dying after the state House and governor accused the Senate of a power grab. The Republicans aren't happy with fellow Republicans in the Senate changing the bill so they can confirm the governor's selections for the state elections board. The bill unanimously passed both the House and Senate. But with Gov. Henry McMaster's backing, House leaders say they may send the bill back to committee to kill it. Both blame Senate Majority Leader Shane Massey. Massey says the approval is a needed check because the governor didn't punish the board or executive director for poor choices made about ballot drop boxes and whether to require absentee ballot signatures during the 2020 elections.
  • The South Carolina Senate has unanimously passed a bill to expand early voting. Wednesday's vote gave key approval to a bill that unanimously passed the House in early March. But there may be one big snag between Republicans. Gov. Henry McMaster and House leaders aren't happy senators added a provision giving them power to confirm the governor's choices for not just the director, but also the five members of the board of the South Carolina Election Commission. McMaster says if the bill fails to pass voters will know to blame Senate leaders and Democrats. Lawmakers are trying to get the new rules in place for the statewide primaries on June 14.