Editorials represent the institutional view of the newspaper. They are written and edited by the editorial staff, which operates separately from the news department. Editorial writers are not involved in newsroom operations.
It doesn’t have quite the cachet of Election Day, but it’s every bit as important — in many cases more important. And as the S.C. League of Women Voters’ Nancy Williams put it recently, it’s sort of like the Fourth of July: “a patriotic reminder of our country’s almost 250 years of government of, by, and for the people.”
Of course, unlike Independence Day, this day is more than a simple reminder of our individual rights and responsibilities as citizens. This day calls on us to do something to claim those rights and live up to those responsibilities. So if you haven’t already cast an early ballot or an absentee ballot, we urge you to go to the polls today.
Well, with one caveat: Don’t go if you have no clue who any of the candidates are and don’t intend to do anything to inform yourself; the last thing we need is for our elections to be decided by the uniformed. Of course, the fact that you’re reading an editorial in your local newspaper about voting suggests that you’re not uninformed.
One thing you might not have thought enough about, though, is how important it is to vote in primaries. Most local, legislative and congressional districts are so gerrymandered that many who win in today’s primaries are pretty much a lock to win again in November, so if you don’t vote now, you won’t really have any say. The same is true in many countywide and statewide offices.
• Education superintendent. Molly Spearman is probably the best superintendent of education South Carolina has ever had, and one candidate fits the Molly Spearman template: Republican Kathy Maness. Indeed, it’s no coincidence that Ms. Spearman has endorsed Ms. Maness.
Like Ms. Spearman, Ms. Maness is a former teacher who went on to run a large education advocacy group, from which she has participated in every important education policy debate in our state in the past two decades. Ms. Maness has the distinction among the Republican candidates of having served in elective office (Lexington Town Council since 2004), which gives her an understanding most of us lack about answering to voters and building consensus in order to get anything accomplished. And as head of the Palmetto State Teachers Association, it has been her job to represent teachers while working in a bipartisan way to present a pragmatic vision for education to the Legislature.
• U.S. House. We endorsed Republican U.S. Reps. Nancy Mace in the 1st District and Tom Rice in the 7th District for the same reason: not because we consider either the perfect representative but because they were targeted for telling the truth about the integrity of our elections and of our constitutional republic, and then acting to preserve that integrity. Ms. Mace dared to say that the Constitution did not allow the Congress to reject the Electoral College results from the 50 states, and Mr. Rice condemned the actions — or, rather, the inaction — of then-President Donald Trump in the hours after insurgents breached the U.S. Capitol.
This is not a matter of the former president looking at the field and deciding he liked other candidates better than Mr. Rice and Ms. Mace. It’s not a matter of his assessing the incumbents’ overall records. It’s not even a question of whether they are sufficiently Republican or sufficiently conservative — unless you define “conservative” and “Republican” as doing whatever the former president wants you to do, even when he wants you to usurp our Constitution. Rather, this is an effort to punish the incumbents for putting our Constitution ahead of the desires of the former president.
Regardless of whether you like them or not, if you think that’s a dangerous thing to do, and if you live in the 1st or the 7th district, you need to go out and vote for one of them today.
• Charleston County register of deeds. Normally, it wouldn’t matter which candidate wins, since the register doesn’t set policy but simply supervises employees and systems with the clerical mission of ensuring that deeds, mortgages, powers of attorney and the like are recorded within the 30-day window mandated by state law. But incumbent Michael Miller has gotten the office so far behind that the Legislature felt compelled to pass a law to allow a judge to remove him if documents start piling up again; unfortunately, that law won’t fix the problems in the office. The best chance for that is replacing him with someone who has the experience with deed recording that he didn’t have, and voters can do that by selecting Karen Hollings in the Democratic primary.
source: Charleston Post Courier