'Making democracy work'
When Daniel Island resident Connie Dittrich first joined the League of Women Voters of the Charleston Area (LWVCA) four years ago, she hoped to gain an understanding of the issues of today and how she can help make a difference.
Through the organization and with the help of her fellow members, Dittrich explained she has accomplished that and more. Now serving as the treasurer and on the board for LWVCA, she stays very involved.
“As a group, I think we really make a difference,” said Dittrich. “I think this is due to the fact that there are so many activist-minded people in the organization.”
According to the organization’s website, the League of Women Voters (LWV) is a national, non-partisan political organization that aids in encouraging informed and active participation in government and influences public policy through education and advocacy.
LWV’s mission? “Making democracy work,” explained President of LWVCA Melinda Hamilton.
“The League works to ensure an open system of government that is representative, accountable and responsive,” said Hamilton. “To make democracy work, this country needs an informed, active electorate. Although voter registration is quite high in Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties, only 64 percent of those eligible to vote participated in the 2016 presidential election.”
A major focus of the organization, added Dittrich, is teaching residents how and where to vote.
“The league is really known for being involved in getting people registered to vote, which is a huge push by the LWV,” she said. “I think that really resonates with people, especially with women.”
Additionally, specific to South Carolina, Hamilton explained that the organization is committed to ethics reform in government, redistricting and the effect of money in politics.
With local elections on Nov. 7 and 14 quickly approaching, Hamilton emphasized how important it is for area residents to get out and vote.
“I imagine a lot of voters think this election is small potatoes,” said Hamilton. “It is anything but that. Those elected will help make decisions that will affect the future of this region for many years.”
To help further educate residents on the various candidates running for offices in the area for upcoming elections, the LWVCA has held a plethora of recent candidate forums. The final forum, featuring Mt. Pleasant mayoral and town council candidates, was held on Oct. 26.
Of interest to Daniel Island and Cainhoy area residents is the South Carolina House District 99 Special Election Republican Primary - set for Nov. 14 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. If necessary, there will be a runoff election for that race on Tuesday, Nov. 28. The winner will face off against the lone democrat in the race, Cindy Boatwright, in a special election on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018.
Although there is no forum for the House District 99 seat scheduled before the primary election in November, Hamilton mentioned the possibility of a forum prior to the January election. If confirmed, details on that event will be announced soon.
For more information about the LWVCA, to view a calendar or to join the organization, visit http://lwvcharleston.org/index.html. League membership is $52 per year and is open to women and men, as well as children, regardless of citizenship. Voting members of the league must be 16 years of age or older.
CAST YOUR VOTE!
Ballot question from the City of Charleston:
YES or NO?
In order to assist with the acquisition, construction and equipping of safe and affordable housing for persons and families of low to moderate income, shall the City of Charleston be empowered to issue not exceeding $20,000,000.00 of
General Obligation Bonds?
House District 99
The winner of the Republican Primary will square off against lone Democratic candidate Cindy Boatwright in January 2018. The Daniel Island Neighborhood Association will host a Candidate Forum, to include all four Republican contenders listed above and Boatwright, on Nov. 7 beginning at
6:30 pm at Church of the Holy Cross
on Daniel Island.
To identify your polling site, visit https://www.berkeleycountysc.gov/drupal/voters.