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On Wednesday, our SC Senate passed a bill that will expand absentee voting to all registered SC voters in November due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Now it's time to hit it home.
Our SC House of Representatives reconvenes on September 15 and will vote on the bill. Legislative staff will be monitoring the number of phone calls and messages received via scstatehouse.gov to gauge constituent concern about extended absentee voting and safety procedures. Legislative leaders will also typically be in touch with the Governor and his staff about these issues and their importance to constituents.
You can find and contact your legislator directly from scstatehouse.gov - helpful "Find Your Legislators" and "Contact Your Legislators" boxes are at the bottom of the page. Contact your Representative before September 15 and let them know that you want them to pass the bill to ensure a safe, accessible, secure election.
In the interest of making that happen, your Jewish Community Relations Council and Columbia Jewish Federation, the JCRC of Greater Charleston, the Anti-Defamation League, Jewish Council for Public Affairs, Alliance for Full Acceptance, Mother Emanuel AME Church, Charleston Hispanic Association, Lowcountry Coalition Against Hate and others have banded together behind a position statement and an official campaign called Stamp Out Hate South Carolina.
For too long, our communities across the state of South Carolina have borne witness to a long history of violence, harassment, and vandalism directed at citizens because of who they are, most notably in 2015 with the murder of nine South Carolinians at Mother Emanuel AME Church by a man steeped in white supremacist ideology. We have no way of prosecuting these crimes as hate crimes through state law.
As legislators are working together to craft a hate crime bill to pre-file for the coming legislative session, our organizations are amassing support for this effort. It is our goal to pass our position statement and its list of signers to our legislature when they reconvene in January. Our hope is to show our legislators just how important this issue is to our communities and the non-profits, grassroots organizations, religious congregations, criminal justice officials, and municipalities that represent them.
Our position statement, the list of signers, the link to add your organization or business to the list, the link to sign as an individual, and information on how to support our campaign are available on our coalition’s website: www.stampouthate.sc