Letters to the Editor

New ranked ballot for all SC voters, not just those overseas, could help in runoffs

People vote at A.C. Moore Elementary School in Columbia. 11/6/18
People vote at A.C. Moore Elementary School in Columbia. 11/6/18 The State file photo

It is clear that South Carolina is in need of new voting equipment. When this new equipment is acquired, it should also allow South Carolina to eliminate primary runoff elections.

Currently, S.C. voters who are serving overseas can submit an absentee ballot for primary elections which allows these voters to rank all of the primary candidates rather than casting a vote for a single candidate. This process allows overseas voters to participate in both the primary election and any resulting runoff without submitting a second ballot.

For example, in a primary between five candidates, A, B, C, D, and E, an overseas voter could submit a ranked ballot of A-B-C-D-E. This voter’s ballot would be cast for candidate A in the primary election. Should a runoff result between candidates C and D, this same ranked ballot would count as a vote for C in the runoff without the need for a second absentee ballot.

New voting equipment should all S.C. voters to submit ranked ballots in this same manner. This would eliminate the need for voters to return to the polls two weeks after the primary. This would also save taxpayer money and decrease the amount of time needed from volunteers.

Christopher Elliott


2nd Amendment must stay relevant for security of our future

As a young adult, I have been exposed to the harsh realities of gun violence and the normalcy of mass shootings. It saddens me to see the news of a gun being pulled on a group of young Somalis inside of a McDonald’s. It is unfortunate that young people in this country and many parts of the world could be in imminent danger based on their gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic background or religion. This act of terror is a prime example of the disconnect between individuals that is prevalent in today’s society.

It is imperative that the future of the highly debated and controversial Second Amendment stay relevant and discussed among our communities. The interpretation of “a well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed” is far from universal. However, beyond the compelling moral reasons to protect the lives of our neighbors, we must consider the future of this Amendment in regards to the safety and security of future generations.

Felicia Finney


Recent hearing sounds an alarm on church property matters

In 2012, many in the Diocese of South Carolina broke away from The Episcopal Church, taking the property and filing a lawsuit to that end.

In August 2017, the S.C. Supreme Court ruled that all church property belonged to The Episcopal Church and its local diocese. The Episcopal Church is hierarchical; property is held in trust for the national church — unlike churches in a congregational structure, which hold their property free and clear. Members of hierarchical churches are free to leave, but not with the property. The First Amendment grants religious bodies freedom to govern themselves as they see fit.

The court denied the breakaway group’s petition for a rehearing. The U.S. Supreme Court also declined to hear the matter.

A confusing hearing took place in Orangeburg on Nov. 19. If the state Supreme Court decision is disregarded, the status of other hierarchical churches across the state will be in grave jeopardy — e.g., Presbyterian Church USA, United Methodist, AME and others.

Eve Pinckney


The State publishes a cross section of the letters we receive from South Carolinians in order to provide a forum for our community and also to allow our community to get a good look at itself, for good or bad. The letters represent the views of the letter writers, not necessarily of The State.