Making Democracy Work

Democracy is not a spectator sport!

The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in government, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.

Tuesday, November 17 -- General Meeting

Our Nov. 17 meeting will be on the general topic of "water." More information later.

We have a Book Summary of BLUE FUTURE: Protecting Water for People and the Planet Forever by Maude Barlow in our October newsletter

Our meeting is open to the public, so bring your friends and neighbors a well as your questions and concerns. Social time at 7:15p.m. and meeting at 7:30 p.m. at the OLLI building in Patrick Square. (See our calendar for exact address and map.)

Constitutional Amendment Consensus

There is a consensus due to LWVUS on December 1st on amending the constitution. We are going to carry out this consensus, due to short notice, by a multi-stage process. There will be a brief discussion of the issue at our October meeting. The questions and a background information sheet will be distributed then, are posted here, and will also appear in the November VOTER. Members can return the completed response sheet to Holley Ulbrich via email ( or snail mail (2 Birch Place, Clemson, SC 29631 or at the November 17th meeting, or they can attend a brown bag lunch meeting at Holley's home on November 19th from 11 to 1 to discuss the issue and then respond.

Hey everybody, this is the intro to the web site posting. Will have info sheet later today.

Consensus Questions PDF document
Consensus Questions Word document (.docx)

South Carolina Will Chose New Voting Technology

South Carolina has begun the process of selecting a technology to replace our aging iVortonic DRE (Direct Register Electronic) machines. After a Voting Fair last Spring, the S. C. State Elections Commission has begun collecting requirements for a Request For Proposal (RFP) for new technology.

The Joint Voting System Research Committee of the S. C. Legislature met November 10 in Columbia. They heard presentations by the Executive Director of the SA. C. State Ealections Commision and other experts, including Matthew Masterson, a Commissioner of the U. S. Election Assistance Commission.

Duncan Buell, a League member from Columbia and Professor at the University of South Carolina, presented oral testimony. The League also submitted written testimony at this hearing.

This meeting was videotaped. The video is available at

Scroll down the page to "Tuesday, November 10, 2015 10:00 a.m.". The meeting lasted about 2 hours and 13 minutes.

A report from the committee will be issued in late January.

Pickens County Council and Elections Fundng

In mid-2014 the Pickens County Council asked the Director of the Board of Registration and Elections to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that would give the Council power to appoint the Elections Director and set his salary. This request of the Council violated state law. The SC Attorney General said that "Pickens County County Council may not delegate to itself operational control of the Board in the forum of the MOU."

A year later Council disregarded the funding request of the Board of Registration & Elections, providing $20,000 less of county funds than the previous year and targeting the decrease to staffing requests. There was only one statewide election last year and there are four this year. The explanation offered at Council meetings is that, in their opinion, the state should pay more money.

The Elections Director has stated that funding will run out the end of February, leaving the June primaries, the anticipated runoff and office staffing unfunded.

More detail, including the text of various actions with regard to this dilemma, is available at this location.

Pickens County School Board News

H 4299, a bill that would add one at-large member to the Pickens County School Board, was passed by the SC House by a 61-1 vote. Rep. Gary Clary and Rep. Neal Collins co-sponsored this bill.

It is likely that the future of this bill will depend on the ability of the Pickens County School Board to correct the problems cited by AdvanceEd. Senator Larry Martin writes, "I do not want to do anything at this time that shifts the focus away from what this board needs to do in order to positively respond. It is for this reason that H.4299 will remain on the local calendar for the time being in the Senate."

The League of Women Voters supports adding at-large representation to the Pickens County School Board. Our rationale is expressed in a recent Letter to the Editor .

LWV Supports Pickens County Millage Increase

A quality public education is essential for a strong and sustainable democratic society and is a civil right.

The League of Women Voters believes that our schools should be adequately financed. Therefore, we support this increase in the millage rate.

A petition supporting the millage increase is available here   A short analysis of funding of education by state government is available at MY TURN: Local government by the numbers, a commentary by Dr. Holley Ullbrich in The Statehouse Report, May 23.

Dr. Holley Ulbrich made a statement to the Pickens County School Board on May 26, describing the economic situation in Pickens County.

League Members Attend Voting Fair in Columbia

Please click here to read a report on the Voting Fair. This article will appear in the SC Voter.


Home Depot now accepts used compact fluorescent light bulbs for recycling at all of its US locations. Many CFL users have been concerned about mercury contamination when these super-efficient bulbs wear out. Now we can dispose of them safely.

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