Letters to the Editor

Voters shouldn’t need straight-ticket option

Polls throughout the Palmetto State are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday. If you are standing in line at 7 p.m., the polls have to stay open until you get the chance to cast your ballot.
Polls throughout the Palmetto State are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday. If you are standing in line at 7 p.m., the polls have to stay open until you get the chance to cast your ballot. The State file photo

We often hear visitors and politicians praise the people of South Carolina, and they are right. We do have good people in S.C. Then I read that our state is one of only nine that allow straight-ticket voting – pull one lever and vote for all Republican or all Democratic candidates. Straight-ticket voting sends a message to voters that we believe they are too dumb or too lazy to make informed and wise choices in each contested race. We can prove that is not true! Let’s get rid of the straight-ticket option, which only reinforces divisive party politics.

Meanwhile, voters don’t need to use it! Go to Vote411.org , enter your address and your ballot will appear. Click on any candidate’s name, and you can read the unedited information about themselves and their positions on issues that candidate submitted to the League of Women Voters. Then at the polls, you can choose the person who most nearly matches your own opinions. If you get a message that the candidate has not responded, that tells you something too!

Make the most of our treasured right to vote and our precious system of democracy. Be an informed voter!

Lill Mood

Chapin

Edwards’ gun stance has this grandma’s support

In the wake of the horrific shootings last week, voters of Irmo and Chapin in S.C. House District 85 need to know the positions of candidates Sam Edwards and Chip Huggins on gun issues.

Sam endorses common sense gun control, with background checks and licenses for gun ownership. She opposes open-carry legislation. Sam has been endorsed by the national organization Moms Demand Action.

Chip Huggins has a 100 percent rating from the National Rifle Association. He opposes licensing gun owners and co-sponsored H3930, a bill authorizing firearms to be carried openly without a permit. Huggins is also against background checks, putting him at odds with 86 percent of South Carolina citizens.

My daughter is a South Carolina public school teacher, and my grandchildren attend public schools. I refuse to vote for someone who opposes even minimal steps for their safety from gun violence. Chip Huggins says that the sanctity of life is “paramount to world order,” but apparently the life of a school child or a police officer does not rise to the same level of sanctity as does the right of any random person to possess and openly carry a firearm. Sam Edwards has my vote on November 6.

Anne Burke

Columbia

Our democracy is literally at stake

They that sow the wind shall reap the whirlwind (Hosea 8-7). President Trump has spent more than two years sowing the winds of hatred, mistrust and lies.

Those who have disagreed with him are now reaping the whirlwind in the form of handmade bombs delivered to their homes. His disingenuous call for unity is too little too late. This comes from a man who has encouraged his supporters to throw protesters out of his campaign rallies, told police officers it is acceptable to rough up suspects if it helps get a confession, refused to condemn the Neo-Nazi and white-supremacy mob at the rally in Virginia, and criticized the press for being the enemy of the people.

America is beginning to look more and more like Nazi Germany prior to WWII. If you believe in civil discourse and the rule of law, I encourage you to seek out and support those candidates who think likewise in November. Our democracy is literally at stake.

Lewis Huffman

Columbia

It’s time for change on Lex-Rich 5 board

It’s time for a change. Election Day is fast approaching, and I urge each and every one of you to please cast your ballot for fresh faces on the Lexington-Richland 5 school board.

All the incumbents, with the exception of Jan Hammond, have lost sight of their constituents. They have forgotten whom they work for and who elected them. They are making it harder and harder for the public to get information about what is going on. They are hiding behind closed doors and clouding decision-making with secrecy. Jan, on the other hand, is the only current board member to actually listen to us taxpayers and to question others on the board. She is not a “Yes, sir. Whatever you say, sir” member, as the others are. She opts for more transparency instead of less. Plus, she is a classroom teacher, lending valuable insight from this beneficial perspective.

We are all in this partnership. Richland and Lexington counties must work together to elect Jan Hammond, Ken Loveless, Jeff Herring and Nikki Gardner. Fresh faces for an even better LR5.

Karen Larrabee

Chapin

Everyone must pay their fair share to solve SC problems

During a recent debate, a political candidate stated that if elected, he would go to Washington to have money sent back to help South Carolina take care of its problems. This is a new twist on telling South Carolinians that they don’t need to pay their taxes. Many years ago, politicians told us that we could keep our taxes low by cutting our expenses like not buying new school buses, that our education system would be fine, and our medical system would work its problems out itself.

Well, now we know after schools busses started catching on fire, our educational systems in some of our counties are in shambles, and some small town hospitals are closing down, that this was not true.

We, as South Carolinians, realize that we must pay our taxes. The only thing that we ask is that everybody needs to pay their fair share.

This is our land, our problems, and it’s for South Carolinians to solve without coming up with grandiose scheme that other people will pay our taxes. My opinion is that it starts with me and you being honest, truthful and faith with each other and everybody carrying their equal weight.

James Muldrow

Columbia

Meadors is up to the challenge of solicitor job

Given the recent crisis in the 5th Circuit office, its next solicitor will need to be a leader with focus, a sense of fairness and, most of all, experience.

John Meadors is that leader. For the past eight years, I have handled numerous high-profile criminal cases against John in Sumter County. He is highly ethical and a tough but fair opponent. As a defense attorney, I appreciate that John understands that not all cases are the “crime of the century,” that sometimes both defendants and victims need compassion, and that people involved in our processes are more than names on a docket. That understanding comes from the wisdom obtained by experience.

In my 30-year legal career as a military supervisory prosecutor and defense attorney, and afterward as a practitioner of criminal law in state and federal courts, I have encountered and supervised hundreds of attorneys. John Meadors is the single most talented and intelligent attorney with whom I have dealt. He is singularly qualified to lead the 5th Circuit from its current crisis and re-establish the trust of citizens in that office. The next solicitor will face a stark and uncomfortable leadership challenge, and I know John will meet it.

Tim Murphy

Sumter

Carrigan will fight for your Social Security

Recently, Sen. Mitch McConnell told an interviewer that Republicans would be cutting what he calls “entitlement” programs. Republicans like to pretend that Social Security spending is driving the deficit. McConnell joins Rep. Paul Ryan, Republican Speaker of the House, in his fixation on cutting Social Security. However, President Ronald Reagan rejected the idea that Social Security was driving the deficit: “Social Security has nothing to do with balancing a budget or erasing or lowering the deficit.”

This election voters can choose a career politician who’s spent 18 years in Washington doing as he’s told by party bosses like McConnell and Ryan. Should Republicans retain control of Congress you can rest assured that they’ll do as they’ve said and cut Social Security.

The better choice for Congress is Sean Carrigan, a moderate Democrat willing to work across party lines. Carrigan, a retired U.S. Army veteran, will fight for your Social Security just as he fought for the country for 28 years. He’s not a career politician who’ll kow-tow to party bosses. He’s an independent Democrat who’s not afraid of party bosses. He doesn’t need a political career to make ends meet like our current representative.

William Salter

Columbia

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