By Jane Caffrey
The League of Women Voters Beaufort S.C. Area would like to thank everyone who worked to ensure a safe and accurate Nov. 3 General Election.
It would like to thank the Beaufort County voters for turning out through unprecedented circumstances to make sure their voices were heard. The League extends their utmost gratitude to the dedicated people who powered the elections: the poll workers, election officials, election observers, postal workers, and volunteers.
The League also sends its congratulations to all the candidates who gave their time and efforts to offer to run for various offices to serve their communities, whether they ran or not.
The gift of being a young, new League of Women Voters organization is that it never knew what it couldn’t do. And never was that more important than during this 2020 Election Year, the year of the League’s Centennial celebration. They were, in so many ways, “The Little Chapter that Could.”
With only 85 members – not all of whom are able to actively participate – this Chapter set a very strategic focused goals for voter education, voter outreach and voter access.
Various initiatives included community relations outreach via voter registration and Census help drives; following school bus routes delivering lunches from the Beaufort County School District; Church Food Drives; as well as organizing weekly tables at the Piggly Wiggly and Food Lion from August through October.
The League also invited candidates to submit their bios and answers to questions for Vote411 Voter Guides. The Beaufort League helped the League of Women Voters Vote411.org website reach more than 6 million views to get information about voting all over the country for a record-breaking election cycle. Voters viewed more than 37 million pages in both English and Spanish.
Partnering with the LWV of the Hilton Head-Bluffton Area, the League of Women Voters Beaufort Area held various Beaufort County virtual Zoom Candidate Forums. The League also developed a Voter Ambassador Program, which provided voter education about the Early Voting and Absentee Ballot process.
Dovetailing with the 2020 election season was the 2020 Census. Our outreach efforts for the Election and Census completions consisted of meetings with the Beaufort County Board of Registration and Elections, informational videos, socially distanced in-person interactions with the community, postcards, flyers, signage, and social media. They arranged with Palmetto Breeze to provide “Rides to the Polls,” a service for disabled persons and others to request safe round-trip rides from home to the absentee voting site at no cost to individuals.
More than 840 volunteer hours were given by the Beaufort League members and partners in Getting out the Vote for their Give a Day for Democracy Campaign. Under the direction of Voter Services and Education Director Bernadette Hampton, League volunteers reached more than 3,000 people, registered 325 voters (not including those who registered online), sent more than 1,000 postcards and provided census help and information to more than 900 households.
Even through the stresses that 2020 has brought, the League encourages you to take a moment to celebrate our democracy and to have a safe and Happy Holiday Season!
Jane Caffrey is the President of the League of Women Voters Beaufort S.C. Area. To become a member of the League of Women Voters Beaufort S.C. Area, visit www.lwvbeaufort.org. If you have any questions, email to firstname.lastname@example.org.