POLITICAL BRIEFS

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Witness signature no longer needed on by-mail ballots

As a result of a U.S. District Court order issued today, South Carolinians voting absentee by mail in the 2020 June Primaries and Runoffs are no longer required to have their signature witnessed on the ballot return envelope.

Election officials will accept and count all absentee ballots regardless of whether the envelope contains a witness signature, if otherwise valid. Any ballots that may have already been returned without a witness signature will also be counted if otherwise valid.

Voters are still required to sign and date the voter’s oath on the return envelope. However, the “Signature of Witness” and “Address of Witness” spaces can be left blank.

The removal of the witness signature requirement applies only to the June 9 Primaries and June 23 Runoffs.

3 former members of Congress endorse Landing

Three former members of Congress who live in the Lowcountry have joined current and former public servants from across South Carolina’s First Congressional District in endorsing Kathy Landing.

Landing received the endorsements of Mount Pleasant residents Tommy Hartnett, who represented South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District, and Randy Neugebauer, rated the most conservative member of Congress in 2011 by the National Journal, and Seabrook Island resident and former Chair of the Republican Study Committee Sue Myrick.

Among others endorsing Landing are: Beaufort County Treasurer Maria Walls, CPA; Beaufort County Councilman Stu Rodman; Hilton Head Island Mayor Pro-Tempore Bill Harkins; Hilton Head Island Councilman Tom Lennox; and former Beaufort County Councilwoman Beth Grace.

CVSC releases some 2020 endorsements

Conservation Voters of South Carolina (CVSC) announced endorsements in 14 State Senate and 16 State House contests this week, including two races impacting northern Beaufort County.

The CVSC endorsed Democrat Margie Bright-Mathews in Senate District 45 and Shedron Williams in House District 122.

CVSC Executive Director John Tynan highlighted the bipartisan nature of the endorsements with the organization supporting 14 Democrats and 16 Republicans, “Conservation isn’t a partisan issue – it is a core South Carolina value, and these endorsements reflect that,” said Tynan. “Regardless of party or geography, each of these candidates has a passion and determination for protecting the Palmetto State. We look forward to working with each of them once they’re elected.”

Of the endorsed candidates, 19 (9 Senate and 10 House) have primary contests on June 9. In addition, 6 of the endorsements are in open seats where an incumbent is not seeking election and 3 are challengers to incumbent lawmakers.

The most recent endorsements are listed below. For a complete list that includes endorsements released in March, go to https://www.cvsc.org/elections/endorsements/. Additional endorsements are expected mid-summer.

Beaufort County GOP hosting online forums

The Beaufort County Republican Party will be holding a series of Zoom Facebook Candidate Primary Forums for primaries that impact northern Beaufort County.

The forum for the First Congressional District will be from 6:30-8 p.m. Thursday, May 28. Participating will be Chris Cox, Kathy Landing, Brad Mole and Nancy Mace.

The forum for Beaufort County Coroner will be from 7-8 p.m. Monday June 1. Participating will be Robert Blok, David Ott and David Zeoli.

The candidates will be on Zoom. You can access the events, which will be streamed, by going to the Facebook page Beaufort County Republican Party (@BeaufortGOP).