South Carolina General Assembly
123rd Session, 2019-2020
Journal of the Senate

NO. 47

JOURNAL

OF THE

SENATE

OF THE

STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA

REGULAR SESSION BEGINNING TUESDAY, JANUARY 14, 2020

_________

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 2, 2020

Wednesday, September 2, 2020
(Statewide Session)

Indicates Matter Stricken
Indicates New Matter

The Senate assembled at 12:00 Noon, the hour to which it stood adjourned, and was called to order by the PRESIDENT.

A quorum being present, the proceedings were opened with a devotion by the Chaplain as follows:

Proverbs 3:6

"In all your ways acknowledge God and he will make straight your paths."

Let us pray. Lord God, our help in ages past and our hope for years to come. You are our shelter from a stormy blast and our eternal home.

As we gather together today, lead us home Lord from bitter conflicts that divide us. Lead us home Lord from a virus that stirs up fear where courage should dwell. Lead us home Lord to Your peace that passes all understanding. Lead us home Lord and make straight our life path that we might walk in faith and not be weary.

May this path be one of inspiration in things that matter and rejection of things that flatter. "For the gate is indeed narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those that find it are few."(Mt 7:14) We offer this prayer in the name of our Lord and Savior. Amen.

The PRESIDENT called for Petitions, Memorials, Presentments of Grand Juries and such like papers.

MESSAGE FROM THE GOVERNOR

The following appointments were transmitted by the Honorable Henry Dargan McMaster:

Statewide Appointments

Initial Appointment, Charleston Naval Complex Redevelopment Authority,
At-Large :
William L. Schachte, Jr., 172 Broad Street, Charleston, SC 29401-2453

Referred to the Committee on Labor, Commerce and Industry.

Initial Appointment, Department of Natural Resources Board, with the term to commence July 1, 2018, and to expire July 1, 2022
7th Congressional District:
Jerry Allen Lee, 2611 Hanna Lake Road, Johnsonville, SC 29555-5241 VICE Keith C. Hinson

Referred to the Committee on Fish, Game and Forestry.

Initial Appointment, South Carolina Department of Highways and Public Transportation, with the term to commence February 15, 2020, and to expire February 15, 2024
3rd Congressional District:
Pamela L. Christopher, 200 Royal Oaks Drive, Anderson, SC 29621-5608 VICE Ben H. Davis, Jr.

Referred to the Committee on Transportation.

Initial Appointment, South Carolina Department of Highways and Public Transportation, with the term to commence May 10, 2018, and to expire February 15, 2022
At-Large :
Nancy Whitworth, 15 Harbor Oaks Drive, Greenville, SC 29609-4949 VICE Kristen E. Blanchard (resigned)

Referred to the Committee on Transportation.

Initial Appointment, South Carolina State Board of Nursing, with the term to commence December 31, 2019, and to expire December 31, 2023
1st Congressional District:
Kelli Garber, 2202 Hamlin Sound Circle, Mount Pleasant , SC 29466-9407 VICE Jackie Baer

Referred to the Committee on Medical Affairs.

Initial Appointment, South Carolina State Board of Pharmacy, with the term to commence June 30, 2020, and to expire June 30, 2026
4th Congressional District:
Michael Bedenbaugh, 10 Wilton Street, Greenville, SC 29601-1520 VICE Eric J. Strauss

Referred to the Committee on Medical Affairs.
Initial Appointment, South Carolina State Ethics Commission, with the term to commence April 1, 2020, and to expire April 1, 2025
At-large, Governor:
Cashida N. Okeke, Esq., 105 Easton Meadow Way, Greer, SC 29650-2692 VICE Ashleigh R. Wilson

Referred to the Committee on Judiciary.

Leave of Absence

At 12:05 P.M., Senator MARTIN requested a leave of absence for Senator DAVIS until 2:05 P.M.

Leave of Absence

At 12:05 P.M., Senator NICHOLSON requested a leave of absence for Senators LEATHERMAN and GAMBRELL for the day.

S.   1240     Sens. Senn, Young and Goldfinch
S. 1241 (Word version)     Sens. Senn, Young and Goldfinch
S. 1242 (Word version)     Sens. Senn, Young and Goldfinch
S. 1243 (Word version)     Sens. Senn, Young and Goldfinch
S. 1244 (Word version)     Sens. Senn, Young and Goldfinch

The following co-sponsor was removed from the respective Bills:
S. 1240 (Word version)     Sen. Cromer
S. 1241 (Word version)     Sen. Cromer
S. 1242 (Word version)     Sen. Cromer
S. 1243 (Word version)     Sen. Cromer
S. 1244 (Word version)     Sen. Cromer

RATIFICATION OF ACTS

Pursuant to an invitation the Honorable Speaker and House of Representatives appeared in the Senate Chamber on June 25, 2020, at 10:00 A.M. and the following Acts and Joint Resolution were ratified:

(R146, H. 3200 (Word version)) -- Reps. Henderson-Myers, Allison, Bernstein, Govan, Ridgeway, Clyburn, Brawley, McDaniel, Cogswell, Caskey, Norrell and Weeks: AN ACT TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, TO ENACT THE "SOUTH CAROLINA LACTATION SUPPORT ACT" BY ADDING SECTION 41-1-130 SO AS TO PROVIDE NECESSARY DEFINITIONS, TO PROVIDE EMPLOYERS DAILY SHALL PROVIDE EMPLOYEES WITH REASONABLE UNPAID BREAK TIME OR SHALL PERMIT EMPLOYEES TO USE PAID BREAK TIME OR MEAL TIME TO EXPRESS BREAST MILK, TO PROVIDE EMPLOYERS SHALL MAKE REASONABLE EFFORTS TO PROVIDE CERTAIN AREAS WHERE EMPLOYEES MAY EXPRESS BREAST MILK, TO PROVIDE EMPLOYERS MAY NOT DISCRIMINATE AGAINST EMPLOYEES FOR CHOOSING TO EXPRESS BREAST MILK IN THE WORKPLACE IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT, TO ALLOW NONCOMPLIANCE WHEN AN UNDUE HARDSHIP ON THE EMPLOYER WOULD RESULT FROM COMPLIANCE, AND TO PROVIDE REMEDIES FOR VIOLATIONS; TO PROVIDE RELATED OBLIGATIONS OF THE HUMAN AFFAIRS COMMISSION; TO PROVIDE RELATED FINDINGS AND EXPRESS THE INTENTION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY; AND TO PROVIDE A THIRTY-DAY COMPLIANCE PERIOD FOR EMPLOYERS.
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(R147, H. 5034 (Word version)) -- Reps. Stavrinakis, McCoy, Sottile, Brown, Cogswell, Mace, Bennett, Moore, Matthews, Pendarvis and Hewitt: AN ACT TO AMEND ACT 340 OF 1967, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO THE CHARLESTON COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT, THE GOVERNING BODY THEREOF, AND THE MANNER IN WHICH ITS MEMBERS ARE ELECTED, SO AS TO REVISE THE AREAS FROM WHICH BOARD MEMBERS ARE ELECTED; TO PROVIDE THAT IF A PERSON ESTABLISHES A NEW RESIDENCE IN CHARLESTON COUNTY AND THE SCHOOL TO WHICH THE NEW RESIDENCE IS ASSIGNED IS FIFTEEN OR MORE ROAD MILES AWAY FROM THE NEW RESIDENCE, THEN THE RECEIVING CONSTITUENT SCHOOL DISTRICT MUST ACCEPT A CHILD RESIDING IN THE NEWLY ESTABLISHED RESIDENCE; AND TO REPEAL INCONSISTENT LOCAL ACTS.
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(R148, H. 5202 (Word version)) -- Ways and Means Committee: A JOINT RESOLUTION TO AUTHORIZE THE EXPENDITURE OF FEDERAL FUNDS DISBURSED TO THE STATE IN THE CORONAVIRUS AID, RELIEF, AND ECONOMIC SECURITY ACT, AND TO SPECIFY THE MANNER IN WHICH THE FUNDS MAY BE EXPENDED.
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RECESS

At 12:07 P.M., on motion of Senator SETZLER, the Senate receded from business.

At 12:58 P.M., the Senate resumed.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS AND RESOLUTIONS

The following were introduced:

S. 1245 (Word version) -- Senator Kimpson: A SENATE RESOLUTION TO EXPRESS THE PROFOUND SORROW OF THE MEMBERS OF THE SOUTH CAROLINA SENATE UPON THE PASSING OF THE HONORABLE FLOYD BREELAND AND TO EXTEND THEIR DEEPEST SYMPATHY TO HIS FAMILY AND MANY FRIENDS.
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S. 1246 (Word version) -- Senator Shealy: A SENATE RESOLUTION TO RECOGNIZE SUICIDE PREVENTION EFFORTS IN SOUTH CAROLINA IN HONOR OF WORLD SUICIDE PREVENTION DAY.
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S. 1247 (Word version) -- Senators Climer, Reese, Fanning and Gregory: A SENATE RESOLUTION TO CONGRATULATE AND HONOR DR. CHRISTOPHER M. BLACK OF ROCK HILL FOR HIS MANY ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND, ON THE OCCASION OF HIS RETIREMENT, TO WISH HIM CONTINUED SUCCESS, HEALTH, AND HAPPINESS IN ALL HIS FUTURE ENDEAVORS.
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S. 1248 (Word version) -- Senator Fanning: A SENATE RESOLUTION TO RECOGNIZE AND CONGRATULATE GARY HOWELL, PRESIDENT OF THE PROGRESSIVE ASSOCIATION OF CHESTER COUNTY COMMUNITIES, ON THE OCCASION OF HIS RETIREMENT AFTER THREE YEARS OF EXEMPLARY SERVICE, AND TO WISH HIM CONTINUED SUCCESS AND HAPPINESS IN ALL HIS FUTURE ENDEAVORS.
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S. 1249 (Word version) -- Senator Fanning: A SENATE RESOLUTION TO CONGRATULATE ESTHER LEE LYLES WILSON OF BLAIR IN FAIRFIELD COUNTY ON THE OCCASION OF HER ONE HUNDREDTH BIRTHDAY AND TO WISH HER A JOYOUS BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION AND MUCH HAPPINESS IN THE DAYS AHEAD.
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S. 1250 (Word version) -- Senator Senn: A SENATE RESOLUTION TO CONGRATULATE C. WILLIAM "BILL" TRAWICK UPON THE OCCASION OF HIS RETIREMENT AS PRESIDENT AND CEO OF BISHOP GADSDEN EPISCOPAL RETIREMENT COMMUNITY, TO COMMEND HIM FOR HIS MANY YEARS OF DEDICATED SERVICE TO THIS COMMUNITY, AND TO WISH HIM MUCH HAPPINESS AND FULFILLMENT IN THE YEARS TO COME.
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S. 1251 (Word version) -- Senator Fanning: A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION TO CONGRATULATE AND HONOR JUDY C. MCWATERS, DIRECTOR OF THE CHESTER COUNTY VETERANS AFFAIRS OFFICE, ON THE OCCASION OF HER RETIREMENT AFTER FORTY-ONE YEARS OF EXEMPLARY SERVICE, AND TO WISH HER CONTINUED SUCCESS AND HAPPINESS IN ALL HER FUTURE ENDEAVORS.
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The Concurrent Resolution was adopted, ordered sent to the House.

S. 1252 (Word version) -- Senator Jackson: A SENATE RESOLUTION TO CONGRATULATE LULA GOODSON DANIELS OF RICHLAND COUNTY ON THE OCCASION OF HER ONE HUNDREDTH BIRTHDAY AND TO WISH HER A JOYOUS BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION AND MUCH HAPPINESS IN THE DAYS AHEAD.
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S. 1253 (Word version) -- Senator Jackson: A SENATE RESOLUTION TO COMMEND AND THANK THE HONORABLE GERALDENE ROBINSON FOR HER MANY YEARS OF DEDICATED PUBLIC AND COMMUNITY SERVICE AND TO WISH HER MUCH SUCCESS AND FULFILLMENT IN ALL HER FUTURE ENDEAVORS AS SHE STEPS DOWN FROM HER DUTIES AS MAYOR OF EASTOVER.
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S. 1254 (Word version) -- Senator Jackson: A SENATE RESOLUTION TO CONGRATULATE ST. JOHN BAPTIST CHURCH OF HOPKINS IN RICHLAND COUNTY ON THE OCCASION OF ITS HISTORIC ONE HUNDRED FORTY-FIFTH ANNIVERSARY AND TO HONOR THE CHURCH FOR NEARLY A CENTURY AND A HALF OF SERVICE TO GOD AND THE COMMUNITY.
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S. 1255 (Word version) -- Senator Jackson: A SENATE RESOLUTION TO EXPRESS PROFOUND SORROW OF THE MEMBERS OF THE SOUTH CAROLINA SENATE UPON THE PASSING OF NIGEL M. "NICKY" MAHAFFEY, JR., OF COLUMBIA AND TO EXTEND THEIR DEEPEST SYMPATHY TO HIS FAMILY AND MANY FRIENDS.
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S. 1256 (Word version) -- Senator McLeod: A SENATE RESOLUTION TO EXPRESS PROFOUND SORROW UPON THE PASSING OF THE HONORABLE CALVIN WAYNE "CHIP" JACKSON OF RICHLAND COUNTY, TO CELEBRATE HIS LIFE AND ACHIEVEMENTS, AND TO EXTEND THE DEEPEST SYMPATHY TO HIS FAMILY AND MANY FRIENDS.
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S. 1257 (Word version) -- Senators Jackson, Alexander, Allen, Bennett, Campbell, Campsen, Cash, Climer, Corbin, Cromer, Davis, Fanning, Gambrell, Goldfinch, Gregory, Grooms, Harpootlian, Hembree, Hutto, Johnson, Kimpson, Leatherman, Loftis, Malloy, Martin, Massey, J. Matthews, M. B. Matthews, McElveen, McLeod, Nicholson, Peeler, Rankin, Reese, Rice, Sabb, Scott, Senn, Setzler, Shealy, Sheheen, Talley, Turner, Verdin, Williams and Young: A SENATE RESOLUTION TO EXPRESS PROFOUND SORROW UPON THE PASSING OF ANDERSON NATIVE CHADWICK BOSEMAN, TO CELEBRATE HIS LIFE AND ACHIEVEMENTS, AND TO EXTEND THE DEEPEST SYMPATHY TO HIS FAMILY AND MANY FRIENDS.
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Senator JACKSON spoke on the Resolution.

Remarks to be Printed

On motion of Senator KIMPSON, with unanimous consent, the remarks of Senator JACKSON, when reduced to writing and made available to the Desk, would be printed in the Journal.

S. 1258 (Word version) -- Senators Campbell and Campsen: A SENATE RESOLUTION TO EXPRESS THE PROFOUND SORROW OF THE MEMBERS OF THE SOUTH CAROLINA SENATE UPON THE PASSING OF WILLIAM AMES "BILL" HALL AND TO EXTEND THEIR DEEPEST SYMPATHY TO HIS FAMILY AND MANY FRIENDS.
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S. 1259 (Word version) -- Senators Massey, Turner, Grooms, Alexander, Peeler, Shealy, Campbell, Bennett, Gambrell, Climer and Loftis: A JOINT RESOLUTION TO PROVIDE LIABILITY PROTECTIONS FOR A LIMITED TIME PERIOD FOR HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS AND BUSINESSES THAT FOLLOW PUBLIC HEALTH GUIDANCE IN RESPONSE TO THE CORONAVIRUS PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY; TO STATE THE PURPOSES OF THIS JOINT RESOLUTION TO PROTECT AGAINST LIABILITY FOR BUSINESSES DURING THE CORONAVIRUS PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY; TO PROVIDE DEFINITIONS FOR COVERED ENTITY, COVERED INDIVIDUAL, CORONAVIRUS, CORONAVIRUS CLAIM, AND PUBLIC HEALTH GUIDANCE; TO STATE THE LIABILITY PROTECTION FOR COVERED ENTITIES AND COVERED INDIVIDUALS FOR CORONAVIRUS CLAIMS; TO STATE THAT DEFENSES ARE CUMULATIVE; TO PROVIDE THAT THE PROVISIONS OF THIS JOINT RESOLUTION ARE SEVERABLE; TO PROVIDE THAT IN THE CASE OF A CONFLICT OF LAW BETWEEN THIS JOINT RESOLUTION ANY OTHER LAW OF THIS STATE, THE PROVISIONS OF THIS JOINT RESOLUTION SHALL PREVAIL, AND TO PROVIDE FOR THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE JOINT RESOLUTION TO BE UPON APPROVAL BY THE GOVERNOR AND FOR ITS PROVISIONS TO BE RETROACTIVE AND EFFECTIVE AS OF MARCH 13, 2020, THE DATE UPON WHICH THE GOVERNOR DECLARED A PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY RELATING TO CORONAVIRUS.
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Read the first time and referred to the Committee on Judiciary.

S. 1260 (Word version) -- Senator Goldfinch: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 16-23-470 OF THE SOUTH CAROLINA CODE OF LAWS, 1976, RELATING TO THE UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF TEAR GAS, TO PROVIDE THAT THE PROHIBITION AGAINST THE POSSESSION OF TEAR GAS DOES NOT APPLY TO THE POSSESSION OF A PERSONAL PEPPER SPRAY DEVICE FOR THE PURPOSE OF SELF DEFENSE.
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Read the first time and referred to the Committee on Judiciary.

S. 1261 (Word version) -- Senator Williams: A SENATE RESOLUTION TO ENCOURAGE ALL AMERICANS TO OBSERVE CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS MONTH IN SEPTEMBER 2020 AND TO SUPPORT THIS CAUSE THAT SO DEEPLY IMPACTS FAMILIES IN EVERY COMMUNITY ACROSS OUR COUNTRY.
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S. 1262 (Word version) -- Senator Verdin: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 11-35-1524 OF THE 1976 CODE, RELATING TO RESIDENT VENDOR PREFERENCES, TO PROVIDE THAT NO STATE AGENCY SHALL PURCHASE, FOR RETAIL SALE, A STATE FLAG, STATE SEAL, OR OTHER OFFICIAL SYMBOL OF THE STATE; ITEMS INCORPORATING THOSE SYMBOLS; OR ITEMS BEARING THE NAME 'SOUTH CAROLINA' OR 'THE PALMETTO STATE' UNLESS THE SYMBOL OR ITEM IS A SOUTH CAROLINA END PRODUCT, IF POSSIBLE, OR IF NOT, UNLESS IT IS A UNITED STATES END PRODUCT, AND TO PROVIDE THAT A STATE AGENCY SHALL NOT RECEIVE REVENUE THROUGH A CONTRACTUAL ARRANGEMENT WITH A PRIVATE ENTITY FOR ANY ITEMS NOT SOURCED ACCORDING TO THESE SAME STANDARDS.
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Senator VERDIN spoke on the Bill.

Read the first time and referred to the Committee on Finance.

S. 1263 (Word version) -- Senator Sheheen: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 7-7-340, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE DESIGNATION OF VOTING PRECINCTS IN KERSHAW COUNTY, SO AS TO MERGE THE EAST CAMDEN-HERMITAGE PRECINCT WITH THE CAMDEN 6 PRECINCT, WITH THE RESULTING COMBINED PRECINCT RETAINING THE NAME CAMDEN 6, TO MERGE THE GATES FORD PRECINCT WITH THE BUFFALO PRECINCT, WITH THE RESULTING COMBINED PRECINCT RETAINING THE NAME BUFFALO, AND TO UPDATE THE MAP NUMBER ON WHICH THE NAMES OF THESE PRECINCTS MAY BE FOUND AND MAINTAINED BY THE REVENUE AND FISCAL AFFAIRS OFFICE.
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Read the first time and ordered placed on the Calendar without reference.

S. 1263--Ordered to a Second Reading

On motion of Senator SHEHEEN, S. 1263 was ordered to receive a second reading on the next legislative day.

HOUSE CONCURRENCES

S. 873 (Word version) -- Senator Grooms: A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION TO RECOGNIZE MAY 12, 2020, AS "MYALGIC ENCEPHALOMYELITIS AWARENESS DAY" AND THE MONTH OF MAY, ANNUALLY, AS "MYALGIC ENCEPHALOMYELITIS AWARENESS MONTH" IN SOUTH CAROLINA IN ORDER TO HELP SPREAD AWARENESS OF THE DISEASE AND THE NEED FOR INCREASED RESEARCH FUNDING AND TO SUPPORT INDIVIDUALS LIVING WITH MYALGIC ENCEPHALOMYELITIS.

Returned with concurrence.

S. 1239 (Word version) -- Senators Peeler, Alexander, Scott and Verdin: A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION TO FIX NOON ON WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER, 23, 2020, AS THE DATE AND TIME FOR THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES TO MEET IN JOINT SESSION IN THE HALL OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES TO ELECT SUCCESSOR MEMBERS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF EMPLOYMENT AND WORKFORCE APPELLATE PANEL FOR SEATS 1, 2, AND 3, SO AS TO FILL THE TERMS THAT EXPIRED JUNE 30, 2020; TWO AT-LARGE MEMBERS TO THE BOARD OF VISITORS FOR THE CITADEL FOR TERMS TO EXPIRE JUNE 30, 2026; THREE AT-LARGE MEMBERS TO THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES FOR CLEMSON UNIVERSITY FOR TERMS TO EXPIRE JUNE 30, 2024; A MEMBER TO THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES FOR COASTAL CAROLINA UNIVERSITY, FIFTH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT, SEAT 5, WHOSE TERM WILL EXPIRE JUNE 30, 2023; A MEMBER OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES FOR THE COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON, FIRST CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT, SEAT 2, WHOSE TERM EXPIRES JUNE 30, 2024, SECOND CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT, SEAT 4, WHOSE TERM EXPIRES JUNE 30, 2024, THIRD CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT, SEAT 6, WHOSE TERM EXPIRES JUNE 30, 2024, FOURTH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT, SEAT 8, WHOSE TERM EXPIRES JUNE 30, 2024, FIFTH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT, SEAT 10, WHOSE TERM EXPIRES JUNE 30, 2024, SIXTH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT, SEAT 12, WHOSE TERM EXPIRES JUNE 30, 2024, SEVENTH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT, SEAT 14, WHOSE TERM EXPIRES JUNE 30, 2024, AND AT-LARGE, SEAT 16, WHOSE TERM EXPIRES JUNE 30, 2024; A MEMBER OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES FOR FRANCIS MARION UNIVERSITY, SECOND CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT, SEAT 2, WHOSE TERM EXPIRES JUNE 30, 2024, THIRD CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT, SEAT 3, WHOSE TERM EXPIRES JUNE 30, 2024, FOURTH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT, SEAT 4, WHOSE TERM EXPIRES JUNE 30, 2024, SEVENTH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT, SEAT 7, WHOSE TERM EXPIRES JUNE 30, 2024, AT-LARGE, SEAT 13, WHOSE TERM EXPIRES JUNE 30, 2022, AND AT-LARGE, SEAT 9, SEAT 11, AND SEAT 15, WHOSE TERMS EXPIRE JUNE 30, 2024; A MEMBER OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES FOR LANDER UNIVERSITY, FIRST CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT, WHOSE TERM EXPIRES JUNE 30, 2024, SECOND CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT, WHOSE TERM EXPIRES JUNE 30, 2024, THIRD CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT, WHOSE TERM EXPIRES JUNE 30, 2024, FOURTH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT, WHOSE TERM EXPIRES JUNE 30, 2024, FIFTH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT, WHOSE TERM EXPIRES JUNE 30, 2024, SIXTH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT, WHOSE TERM EXPIRES JUNE 30, 2024, AND SEVENTH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT, WHOSE TERM EXPIRES JUNE 30, 2024; A MEMBER OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES FOR THE MEDICAL UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA, FIRST CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT, NONMEDICAL SEAT, WHOSE TERM EXPIRES JUNE 30, 2024, SECOND CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT, NONMEDICAL SEAT, WHOSE TERM EXPIRES JUNE 30, 2024, THIRD CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT, NONMEDICAL SEAT, WHOSE TERM EXPIRES JUNE 30, 2024, FOURTH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT, MEDICAL SEAT, WHOSE TERM EXPIRES JUNE 30, 2024, FIFTH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT, MEDICAL SEAT, WHOSE TERM EXPIRES JUNE 30, 2024, SIXTH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT, NONMEDICAL SEAT, WHOSE TERM EXPIRES JUNE 30, 2024, AND SEVENTH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT, MEDICAL SEAT, WHOSE TERM EXPIRES JUNE 30, 2024; A MEMBER OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES FOR SOUTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY, SECOND CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT, SEAT, 2, WHOSE TERM EXPIRES JUNE 30, 2024, FOURTH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT, SEAT 4, WHOSE TERM EXPIRES JUNE 30, 2024, SIXTH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT, SEAT 6, WHOSE TERM EXPIRES JUNE 30, 2024, AT-LARGE, SEAT 8, WHOSE TERM EXPIRES JUNE 30, 2024, AND AT-LARGE, SEAT 12, WHOSE TERM EXPIRES JUNE 30, 2024; A MEMBER OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES FOR THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA, SECOND JUDICIAL CIRCUIT, WHOSE TERM EXPIRES JUNE 30, 2024, FOURTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT, WHOSE TERM EXPIRES JUNE 30, 2024, SIXTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT, WHOSE TERM EXPIRES JUNE 30, 2024, EIGHTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT, WHOSE TERM EXPIRES JUNE 30, 2024, TENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT, WHOSE TERM EXPIRES JUNE 30, 2024, FOURTEENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT, WHOSE TERM EXPIRES JUNE 30, 2024, FIFTEENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT, WHOSE TERM EXPIRES JUNE 30, 2024, AND SIXTEENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT, WHOSE TERM EXPIRES JUNE 30, 2024; A MEMBER OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES FOR WINTHROP UNIVERSITY, SECOND CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT, SEAT 2, WHOSE TERM EXPIRES JUNE 30, 2026, SIXTH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT, SEAT 6, WHOSE TERM EXPIRES JUNE, 2026, AND AT-LARGE, SEAT 9, WHOSE TERM EXPIRES JUNE 30, 2026; THREE AT-LARGE MEMBERS TO THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE WIL LOU GRAY OPPORTUNITY SCHOOL, WHOSE TERMS EXPIRE JUNE 30, 2024; AND TO ELECT MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION, FIRST CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT, WHOSE TERM EXPIRES JUNE 30, 2024, THIRD CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT, WHOSE TERM EXPIRES JUNE 30, 2024, FIFTH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT, WHOSE TERM EXPIRES JUNE 30, 2024, AND SEVENTH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT, WHOSE TERM EXPIRES JUNE 30, 2024.

Returned with concurrence.

Expression of Personal Interest

Senator McLEOD rose for an Expression of Personal Interest.

Remarks to be Printed

On motion of Senator SETZLER, with unanimous consent, the remarks of Senator McLEOD, when reduced to writing and made available to the Desk, would be printed in the Journal.

On motion of Senator MASSEY, with unanimous consent, the Senate proceeded to H. 5305.

There was no objection.

THE SENATE PROCEEDED TO A CALL OF THE UNCONTESTED LOCAL AND STATEWIDE CALENDAR.

H. 5305 (Word version) -- Reps. Norrell, B. Newton, Yow and Lucas: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 7-7-350, AS AMENDED, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE DESIGNATION OF VOTING PRECINCTS IN LANCASTER COUNTY, SO AS TO REVISE THE NAMES OF SEVEN PRECINCTS, AND TO UPDATE THE MAP NUMBER ON WHICH THE NAMES OF THESE PRECINCTS MAY BE FOUND AND MAINTAINED BY THE REVENUE AND FISCAL AFFAIRS OFFICE.

The Senate proceeded to a consideration of the Bill, the question being the second reading of the Bill.

Senator MASSEY spoke on the Bill.

Introductory remarks by Senator MASSEY

Ladies and gentlemen of the Senate,

Today is September 2nd. We're still in a pandemic. We're still wearing masks and social distancing.

We're still in a major election cycle.

When we last met, we weren't sure what coronavirus was going to look like. We didn't know how long it would last - and we still don't.

When we were here in May, we took some precautions to keep our citizens safe when they voted in the primaries.

We are here today because it again important for us to consider possible action to protect South Carolinians' ability to vote safely.

Since we last met, we have had some folks sue President Peeler and Speaker Lucas because they don't believe that we can pass anything in time before the general election.

So the Body is aware, we have two suits sitting in federal court right now and one over at the Supreme Court.

Both of the federal suits are a continuation of what we had ahead of the primaries. There was a summary judgment hearing on Monday in one of them (Thomas). Judge Childs indicated that she would wait and see what we did here. We have another hearing on the 11th in the other case (Middleton - injunction).

As for the Supreme Court case, the Senator from Richland's firm is representing the plaintiffs. Oral arguments are scheduled for mid-September (18th).

I'm sure that the decisions we make today will impact those cases.

Lawsuits aside, it is the General Assembly's responsibility to decide how to govern our elections - in a pandemic or otherwise. Not the judiciary. We were elected to represent the citizens of this State and we cannot shirk our responsibility to them and hand over our election laws to the judicial branch.

So, in keeping with that responsibility, we will take up an amendment shortly that proposes several changes to our election process that apply only to the November 3rd general election. The amendment will protect the safety of the voter and the integrity of the vote. We are not changing permanent law today.

The amendment does eight things - most of which we did last time:

1.   allows for no excuse absentee voting if we are under a state of emergency order;

2.   provides a schedule for when absentee ballots applications can be received

3.   provides for the return of absentee ballots to election commission staff;

4. in-office absentee voting must begin October 5th

5.   allows the examination and opening of the outer envelopes on Sunday and the opening of the inner envelopes and tabulation of the ballots earlier on Tuesday

6.   provides for public notice for absentee ballot examination

7.   provides that social distancing policies and other safety measures must be used to the extent practicable

8.   and it requires the State Election Commission to establish aggressive voter education about these changes.

Before we get to that amendment, though, we will have a few amendments from the Senator from Richland. His amendments seek the same relief he's asked for at the Supreme Court. While we will hear more about those amendments shortly, those amendments would undermine important anti-fraud election laws that law enforcement counts on when investigating claims of election fraud.

We will deal with those amendments and others, but I am confident that we will again do what's necessary to maintain the integrity of our elections process, keep it accessible, but keep it safe in light of the pandemic.

Senator SETZLER spoke on the Bill.

Amendment No. 4A

Senators HARPOOTLIAN and SCOTT proposed the following amendment (ZW\5305C009.CC.ZW20), which was tabled:

Amend the bill, as and if amended, by striking all after the enacting clause and inserting:

/     SECTION   1.   This act may be cited as the "South Carolina COVID-19 General Election Public Safety Act".

SECTION   2.   Article 5, Chapter 15, Title 7 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

"Section 7-15-397.   For purposes of the 2020 general election and notwithstanding another provision of law, the county boards of voter registration and elections may utilize secure drop boxes for the collection of lawfully completed and timely cast absentee ballots. As used in this item, 'drop box' means a secure, locked structure operated by county election officials where qualified electors may deliver their absentee ballots from the time they receive them in the mail up to the time polls close on election day. Absentee ballot drop boxes must be available during regular business hours and monitored by trained county election workers during those hours."

SECTION   3.   The new section of the 1976 Code as added by SECTION 2 of this act is repealed on December 31, 2020.

SECTION   4.   This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.   /

Renumber sections to conform.

Amend title to conform.

Senator HARPOOTLIAN explained the amendment.

Senator MASSEY moved to lay the amendment on the table.

The "ayes" and "nays" were demanded and taken, resulting as follows:

Ayes 24; Nays 16

AYES

Alexander                 Bennett                   Campbell
Campsen                   Cash                      Climer
Corbin                    Cromer                    Goldfinch
Gregory                   Grooms                    Hembree
Loftis                    Martin                    Massey
Peeler                    Rankin                    Rice
Senn                      Shealy                    Talley
Turner                    Verdin                    Young

Total--24

NAYS

Allen                     Fanning                   Harpootlian
Jackson                   Johnson                   Kimpson
Malloy                    McElveen                  McLeod
Nicholson                 Reese                     Sabb
Scott                     Setzler                   Sheheen
Williams

Total--16

The amendment was laid on the table.

Statement by Senators MASSEY and CAMPSEN

This amendment was described as allowing drop boxes to be used to collect absentee ballots. We voted against this amendment because if drop boxes are used as contemplated by this amendment then it would undermine existing laws protecting the integrity of the ballot against the anti-fraud provisions in our election law, including ballot harvesting. Amendment No. 8, adopted by the Senate, creates more options for absentee voters to return their ballots while also maintaining ballot integrity.

Amendment No. 5B

Senators HARPOOTLIAN, McLEOD and SCOTT proposed the following amendment (ZW\5305C010.CC.ZW20), which was tabled:

Amend the bill, as and if amended, by striking all after the enacting clause and inserting:

/     SECTION   1.   This act may be cited as the "South Carolina COVID-19 General Election Public Safety Act".

SECTION   2.   Article 5, Chapter 15, Title 7 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

"Section 7-15-398.   For purposes of the 2020 general election and notwithstanding another provision of law, in addition to curbside voting at every precinct, the county boards of voter registration and elections may designate curbside voting at a centralized location or locations within the county. If a county board of voter registration and elections elects to designate curbside voting at a centralized location or locations, then the county board shall include the list of designated curbside voting locations in the elections notices required pursuant to Section 7-13-35."

SECTION   3.   The new section of the 1976 Code as added by SECTION 2 of this act is repealed on December 31, 2020.

SECTION   4.   This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.   /

Renumber sections to conform.

Amend title to conform.

Senator HARPOOTLIAN spoke on the amendment.

Senator MASSEY moved to lay the amendment on the table.

The "ayes" and "nays" were demanded and taken, resulting as follows:

Ayes 24; Nays 16
AYES

Alexander                 Bennett                   Campbell
Campsen                   Cash                      Climer
Corbin                    Cromer                    Goldfinch
Gregory                   Grooms                    Hembree
Loftis                    Martin                    Massey
Peeler                    Rankin                    Rice
Senn                      Shealy                    Talley
Turner                    Verdin                    Young

Total--24

NAYS

Allen                     Fanning                   Harpootlian
Jackson                   Johnson                   Kimpson
Malloy                    McElveen                  McLeod
Nicholson                 Reese                     Sabb
Scott                     Setzler                   Sheheen
Williams

Total--16

The amendment was laid on the table.

Statement by Senators MASSEY and CAMPSEN

We voted against this amendment because it is unnecessary and would lead to voter confusion on Election Day. The amendment reduces the number of polling places that offer curbside voting. Amendment #8 ensures that each polling location shall continue to offer curbside voting. Because Amendment #8 allows for more opportunities for voters to cast absentee ballots, we believe there will be fewer people who will vote in person on Election Day thereby allowing poll workers more time to work with curbside voters.

Amendment No. 7

Senators HARPOOTLIAN and SCOTT proposed the following amendment (5305RAH6), which was tabled:

Amend the bill, as and if amended, by striking all after the enacting clause and inserting:

/   SECTION   1.   Section 7-15-380 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding an appropriately lettered subsection at the end to read:

"( )   For purposes of the 2020 general election and notwithstanding another provision of law, the requirement that the absentee ballot applicant's oath imprinted on the return-addressed envelope be witnessed pursuant to subsection (A) shall not apply."

SECTION   2.   The amendment contained in SECTION 1 of this act is repealed on December 31, 2020, and the text of this SECTION therefore shall revert back to the language as contained in the South Carolina Code of Laws as of September 1, 2020.

SECTION   3.   This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.   /

Renumber sections to conform.

Amend title to conform.

Senator HARPOOTLIAN spoke on the amendment.

Senator KIMPSON spoke on the amendment.

Senator MALLOY spoke on the amendment.

Remarks to be Printed

On motion of Senator NICHOLSON, with unanimous consent, the remarks of Senator MALLOY, when reduced to writing and made available to the Desk, would be printed in the Journal.

Senator MASSEY moved to lay the amendment on the table.

The "ayes" and "nays" were demanded and taken, resulting as follows:

Ayes 25; Nays 16

AYES

Alexander                 Bennett                   Campbell
Campsen                   Cash                      Climer
Corbin                    Cromer                    Davis
Goldfinch                 Gregory                   Grooms
Hembree                   Loftis                    Martin
Massey                    Peeler                    Rankin
Rice                      Senn                      Shealy
Talley                    Turner                    Verdin
Young

Total--25

NAYS

Allen                     Fanning                   Harpootlian
Jackson                   Johnson                   Kimpson
Malloy                    McElveen                  McLeod
Nicholson                 Reese                     Sabb
Scott                     Setzler                   Sheheen
Williams

Total--16

The amendment was laid on the table.

Statement by Senators MASSEY and CAMPSEN

This amendment eliminates the requirement that a person witness an absentee voter's signature on the absentee envelope. The witness requirement was suspended for the primary and runoff elections this year by a federal court. We disagreed with the court on this point but we understand why the court took that position. However, we now know much more about COVID-19 and how it is transmitted - and more importantly - how to prevent or drastically reduce transmission of the virus. What we now know is that the witness requirement poses minimal COVID-19 risk. Witnesses can maintain a safe distance from a voter while still watching the voter sign the envelope. Furthermore, there are no limits on who can serve as the witness. So a person can have a family member, friend, neighbor, delivery person - or any other person that the voter chooses to serve as the witness. We believe that keeping the witness requirement is important because courts have recognized that absentee voting is a likely source of voting fraud. The existence of the witness requirement has had a deterrent effect as is evidenced by a relative lack of absentee ballot fraud prosecutions. Finally, removing the witness requirement - aside from deterring fraud - would also take away from law enforcement an important tool for investigating election fraud allegations.

Amendment No. 8

Senators MASSEY, MALLOY and CAMPSEN proposed the following amendment (JUD5305.002), which was adopted:

Amend the bill, as and if amended, by striking all after the enacting language and inserting therein the following:

/     SECTION   1.   Due to the significant health threat and risks associated with 2019 Novel Coronavirus, also referred to as COVID-19, the following SECTIONS are changes for the 2020 General Election.

SECTION   2.   A qualified elector must be permitted to vote by absentee ballot in an election if the qualified elector's place of residence or polling place is located in an area subject to a state of emergency declared by the Governor and there are fewer than forty-six days remaining until the date of the General Election to be held on November 3, 2020.

SECTION   3.   Completed applications for absentee ballots must be received by the county board of elections and voter registration before: (a) 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 24, 2020, if submitted by mail; (b) 5:00 p.m. on Friday, October 30, 2020, if submitted in-person, or by the qualified elector's authorized representative; or (c) 5:00 on Monday, November 2, 2020, for a qualified elector who appears in person. In addition, if a qualified elector is admitted to a hospital as an emergency patient from Friday, October 30, 2020, through Tuesday, November 3, 2020, an immediate family member of the qualified elector may obtain an application from the board on the day of the election, complete it, receive the ballot, deliver it personally to the patient who shall vote, and the immediate family member personally carry the ballot back to the board of voter registration and elections.

SECTION   4.   A qualified elector must submit an absentee ballot to the county board of elections and voter registration either: (a) by mail; or (b) by returning the sealed envelopes containing the ballot during office hours, either personally or by authorized representative with the appropriate form as required by law. If the envelope containing an absentee ballot is returned in-person, the envelope must be submitted to staff or an official at the county board of elections and voter registration or at a satellite office where the election staff or officials receive the envelope at the time of delivery and examine the envelope, and the authorization form, if applicable. The county board of elections and voter registration shall ensure that returned absentee ballots are secured in a locked box within the office in accordance with Section 7-15-385.

SECTION   5.   Beginning on October 5, 2020, each county board of elections and voter registration must provide for in-office absentee voting for the November 3, 2020, General Election.

SECTION   6.   (A)   The process of examining the return-addressed envelopes containing absentee ballots, in accordance with the requirements of Section 7-15-420, may begin at 7:00 a.m. on Sunday, November 1, 2020, at a place designated in the notice by the authority charged with conducting the election.

(B)   After all return-addressed envelopes have been emptied, but no earlier than 7:00 a.m. on November 3, 2020, the managers shall remove the ballots contained in the envelopes marked "Ballot Herein," placing each ballot in the ballot box provided for the applicable contest.

(C)   Beginning at 7:00 a.m. on November 3, 2020, the absentee ballots may be tabulated.

(D)   Results of the absentee ballot tabulation must not be publicly reported until after the polls are closed.

SECTION   7.   The authority charged by law with conducting an election must include in the public notice pursuant to Section 7-13-35 that the process of examining the return-addressed envelopes containing absentee ballots may begin at 7:00 a.m. on Sunday, November 1, 2020.

SECTION   8.   The State Elections Commission is encouraged to develop recommendations for local county offices to reduce the spread of COVID-19 during in-person absentee voting and personal delivery of absentee ballots prior to the November 3, 2020 election and with in-person voting on November 3, 2020. The personal delivery of absentee ballots prior to November 2, 2020 must, to the extent practicable, be physically segregated from the in-person absentee voting process.

SECTION   9.   The State Elections Commission must establish an aggressive voter education program concerning the provisions contained in this legislation. The State Elections Commission must educate the public as follows:

(1)   Post information concerning the items in this legislation in a conspicuous location at each county board of elections and voter registration, each satellite office, the State Elections Commission office, and their respective websites.

(2)   Train poll managers and poll workers to answer questions by electors concerning the changes in this legislation.

(3)   Coordinate with local media outlets to disseminate information concerning the changes in the legislation.

(4)   Post requests that registered electors ensure their current contact information, including but not limited to, at least one phone number and an email address, is provided to the appropriate county board of elections and voter registration. This request, and instructions on how qualified electors can check or update contact information, must be posted in a conspicuous location at each county board of elections and voter registration, each satellite office, the State Elections Commission office, and their respective websites, as well as coordinate with local media outlets.

(5)   The State Elections Commission may implement additional educational programs in its discretion.

SECTION   10.   (A)   The provisions of this act only apply to the 2020 General Election, scheduled for November 3, 2020, and the processes to finalize the results of the 2020 General Election. The provisions of this act must not be applied to any other election or election process other than the 2020 General Election.

(B)   The provisions of this act take effect upon approval by the Governor.     /

Renumber sections to conform.

Amend title to conform.

Senator MASSEY explained the amendment.

Statement by Senators MASSEY and CAMPSEN

This amendment is a conscientious, balanced approach that was developed through a measured, deliberate consideration of the various concerns raised about the November elections. We voted in favor of Amendment No. 8 because it paves the way for South Carolinians to safely exercise their right to vote in November despite the challenges presented by COVID-19. Additionally, this amendment helps ensure the integrity of the voting process. The amendment had broad bipartisan support. In fact, this amendment became the bill that unanimously passed the Senate.

Amendment No. 9

Senator MALLOY proposed the following amendment (JUD5305.012), which was withdrawn:

Amend the amendment bearing document number JUD5305.002, as and if amended, by striking SECTION 5 in its entirety and inserting therein the following:

/     SECTION   5.   Beginning on September 28, 2020, each county board of elections and voter registration must provide for in-office absentee voting for the November 3, 2020, General Election.     /

Renumber sections to conform.

Amend title to conform.

On motion of Senator MALLOY, with unanimous consent, Amendment No. 9 was withdrawn.

Amendment No. 10

Senator MALLOY proposed the following amendment (JUD5305.013), which was withdrawn:

Amend the amendment bearing document number JUD5305.002, as and if amended, by striking SECTION 2 in its entirety and inserting therein the following:

/     SECTION   2.   (a)   A qualified elector must be permitted to vote by absentee ballot in an election if the qualified elector's place of residence or polling place is located in an area subject to a state of emergency declared by the Governor and there are fewer than forty-six days remaining until the date of the General Election to be held on November 3, 2020.

(b)   A qualified elector must be permitted to vote by absentee ballot in the office of the county board of voter registration and elections or any alternative absentee voting precinct selected by the county board of voter registration and elections on Saturday, October 31, 2020, from seven o'clock a.m. to seven o'clock p.m.     /

Renumber sections to conform.

Amend title to conform.

On motion of Senator MALLOY, with unanimous consent, Amendment No. 10 was withdrawn.

Amendment No. 11

Senator MALLOY proposed the following amendment (JUD5305.014), which was withdrawn:

Amend the amendment bearing document number JUD5305.002, as and if amended, by adding an appropriately numbered SECTION before SECTION 10 to read:

/     SECTION   ___.   In order to maintain standards of social distancing and other safety precautions to protect electors due to COVID-19, for the November 3, 2020, General Election, a county board of voter registration and elections shall designate at least one and not more than three locations in other local government buildings or offices in the county to serve as in-person absentee voting precincts. If designated on or before October 23, 2020, an in-person absentee voting precinct must be approved by a majority of the legislative delegation. If designated after October 23, 2020, the county board must notify the members of the legislative delegation. In-person absentee voting precincts must be selected with consideration of the distance electors would be required to travel in order to vote. Every attempt must be made to notify electors of each curbside voting precinct before the election and on the day of the election through the media and by posted notice at the designated polling place.     /

Renumber sections to conform.

Amend title to conform.

On motion of Senator MALLOY, with unanimous consent, Amendment No. 11 was withdrawn.

Amendment No. 12

Senator MALLOY proposed the following amendment (JUD5305.015), which was withdrawn:

Amend the amendment bearing document number JUD5305.002, as and if amended, by adding an appropriately numbered SECTION before SECTION 10 to read:

/     SECTION   ___.   For receipt of absentee ballots, the county board of voter registration and elections may utilize at least one drop box to be placed in a conspicuous and prominently labeled location outside its office. Each county board of voter registration and elections may designate no more than two additional locations in or near government buildings in the county to place drop boxes for receipt of absentee ballots. The drop box must meet at least the minimum standards or guidelines established by the Department of Homeland Security and the Elections Assistance Commission, if applicable. Each county board of voter registration and elections must take steps to secure the drop box and remove the ballots at least once each business day that the office is open. At least two people must be present to remove the ballots from the drop box, and the receipt of these ballots must be recorded as absentee ballots received by mail. All absentee ballot drop boxes must be emptied and secured at 7:00 p.m. on the day of the election.     /

Renumber sections to conform.

Amend title to conform.

On motion of Senator MALLOY, with unanimous consent, Amendment No. 12 was withdrawn.

Amendment No. 13

Senator MALLOY proposed the following amendment (JUD5305.016), which was withdrawn:

Amend the amendment bearing document number JUD5305.002, as and if amended, by adding an appropriately numbered SECTION before SECTION 10 to read:

/     SECTION   ___.   In order to maintain standards of social distancing and other safety precautions to protect electors due to COVID-19, for the November 3, 2020, General Election, a county board of voter registration and elections shall designate at least one and no more than three locations in the county to serve as curbside voting precincts. Any elector eligible to vote in the county who is disabled or who is assisting a disabled elector may vote at a designated curbside voting precinct. If designated on or before October 23, 2020, a curbside voting precinct must be approved by a majority of the legislative delegation. If designated after October 23, 2020, the county board must notify the members of the legislative delegation. Curbside voting precincts must be selected with consideration of the distance electors would be required to travel in order to vote. Every attempt must be made to notify electors of each curbside voting precinct before the election and on the day of the election through the media and by posted notice at the designated polling place.     /

Renumber sections to conform.

Amend title to conform.

On motion of Senator MALLOY, with unanimous consent, Amendment No. 13 was withdrawn.

Amendment No. 14

Senator MALLOY proposed the following amendment (JUD5305.017), which was withdrawn:

Amend the amendment bearing document number JUD5305.002, as and if amended, by adding an appropriately numbered SECTION before SECTION 10 to read:

/     SECTION   ___.   A.     Notwithstanding the provisions of Chapter 13 or Chapter 5 of Title 7 of the Code of Laws of South Carolina, for the November 3, 2020, General Election, each county board of voter registration and elections shall establish a procedure by which a qualified elector may cast his ballot, without excuse, during an early voting period for that election. The qualified elector may cast a ballot during an early voting period pursuant to this section.

B.   Early voting centers must be established and maintained to ensure that voters may cast only one ballot.

C.   If a qualified elector casts his ballot at an early voting center, he must do so in the county in which he resides.

D.   Each county board of registration and elections must establish at least one early voting center and may establish up to three early voting centers. The county board of registration and elections shall determine the location of each early voting center or centers. Each early voting center must be supervised by county board of registration and elections employees.

E.   The early voting period begins ten days before the election and ends three days prior to the election.

F.   The county board of registration and elections shall determine the hours of operation for the early voting center or centers; however:

(1)   the early voting centers shall not open on Sundays; and

(2)   the early voting centers must be open for two Saturdays within the early voting period.

G.     In addition to the early voting centers established pursuant to this section, a county board of registration and elections may authorize up to two additional early voting centers if the county board of registration and elections finds there is a need for additional early voting centers after holding a public hearing on the matter. The county board of registration and elections must determine the location of any additional early voting center or centers.

H.     A sign must be posted prominently in each early voting center and shall have printed on it: VOTING MORE THAN ONCE IS A MISDEMEANOR AND, UPON CONVICTION, A PERSON MUST BE FINED IN THE DISCRETION OF THE COURT OR IMPRISONED NOT MORE THAN THREE YEARS.

I.   The Executive Director of the State Election Commission must enter into the master file a separate designation for each voter casting an absentee ballot or an early ballot for the November 3, 2020, General Election.     /

Renumber sections to conform.

Amend title to conform.

On motion of Senator MALLOY, with unanimous consent, Amendment No. 14 was withdrawn.

Amendment No. 15

Senator MALLOY proposed the following amendment (JUD5305.018), which was withdrawn:

Amend the bill, as and if amended, by striking all after the enacting language and inserting therein the following:

/     SECTION   1.   Due to the significant health threat and risks associated with 2019 Novel Coronavirus, also referred to as COVID-19, the following SECTIONS are changes for the 2020 General Election.

SECTION   2.   (a)   A qualified elector must be permitted to vote by absentee ballot in an election if the qualified elector's place of residence or polling place is located in an area subject to a state of emergency declared by the Governor and there are fewer than forty-six days remaining until the date of the General Election to be held on November 3, 2020.

(b)   A qualified elector must be permitted to vote by absentee ballot in the office of the county board of voter registration and elections or any alternative absentee voting precinct selected by the county board of voter registration and elections on Saturday, October 31, 2020, from seven o'clock a.m. to seven o'clock p.m.

SECTION   3.   Completed applications for absentee ballots must be received by the county board of elections and voter registration before: (a) 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 24, 2020, if submitted by mail; (b) 5:00 p.m. on Friday, October 30, 2020, if submitted in-person, or by the qualified elector's authorized representative; or (c) 5:00 on Monday, November 2, 2020, for a qualified elector who appears in person. In addition, if a qualified elector is admitted to a hospital as an emergency patient from Friday, October 30, 2020, through Tuesday, November 3, 2020, an immediate family member of the qualified elector may obtain an application from the board on the day of the election, complete it, receive the ballot, deliver it personally to the patient who shall vote, and the immediate family member personally carry the ballot back to the board of voter registration and elections.

SECTION   4.   A qualified elector must submit an absentee ballot to the county board of elections and voter registration either: (a) by mail; or (b) by returning the sealed envelopes containing the ballot during office hours, either personally or by authorized representative with the appropriate form as required by law. If the envelope containing an absentee ballot is returned in-person, the envelope must be submitted to staff or an official at the county board of elections and voter registration or at a satellite office where the election staff or officials receive the envelope at the time of delivery and examine the envelope, and the authorization form, if applicable. The county board of elections and voter registration shall ensure that returned absentee ballots are secured in a locked box within the office in accordance with Section 7-15-385.

SECTION   5.   Beginning on September 28, 2020, each county board of elections and voter registration must provide for in-office absentee voting for the November 3, 2020, General Election.

SECTION   6.   (A)   The process of examining the return-addressed envelopes containing absentee ballots, in accordance with the requirements of Section 7-15-420, may begin at 7:00 a.m. on Sunday, November 1, 2020, at a place designated in the notice by the authority charged with conducting the election.

(B)   After all return-addressed envelopes have been emptied, but no earlier than 7:00 a.m. on November 3, 2020, the managers shall remove the ballots contained in the envelopes marked "Ballot Herein," placing each ballot in the ballot box provided for the applicable contest.

(C)   Beginning at 7:00 a.m. on November 3, 2020, the absentee ballots may be tabulated.

(D)   Results of the absentee ballot tabulation must not be publicly reported until after the polls are closed.

SECTION   7.   The authority charged by law with conducting an election must include in the public notice pursuant to Section 7-13-35 that the process of examining the return-addressed envelopes containing absentee ballots may begin at 7:00 a.m. on Sunday, November 1, 2020.

SECTION   8.   The State Elections Commission is encouraged to develop recommendations for local county offices to reduce the spread of COVID-19 during in-person absentee voting and personal delivery of absentee ballots prior to the November 3, 2020 election and with in-person voting on November 3, 2020. The personal delivery of absentee ballots prior to November 2, 2020 must, to the extent practicable, be physically segregated from the in-person absentee voting process.

SECTION   9.   The State Elections Commission must establish an aggressive voter education program concerning the provisions contained in this legislation. The State Elections Commission must educate the public as follows:

(1)   Post information concerning the items in this legislation in a conspicuous location at each county board of elections and voter registration, each satellite office, the State Elections Commission office, and their respective websites.

(2)   Train poll managers and poll workers to answer questions by electors concerning the changes in this legislation.

(3)   Coordinate with local media outlets to disseminate information concerning the changes in the legislation.

(4)   Post requests that registered electors ensure their current contact information, including but not limited to, at least one phone number and an email address, is provided to the appropriate county board of elections and voter registration. This request, and instructions on how qualified electors can check or update contact information, must be posted in a conspicuous location at each county board of elections and voter registration, each satellite office, the State Elections Commission office, and their respective websites, as well as coordinate with local media outlets.

(5)   The State Elections Commission may implement additional educational programs in its discretion.

SECTION   10.   In order to maintain standards of social distancing and other safety precautions to protect electors due to COVID-19, for the November 3, 2020, General Election, a county board of voter registration and elections shall designate at least one and not more than three locations in other local government buildings or offices in the county to serve as in-person absentee voting precincts. If designated on or before October 23, 2020, an in-person absentee voting precinct must be approved by a majority of the legislative delegation. If designated after October 23, 2020, the county board must notify the members of the legislative delegation. In-person absentee voting precincts must be selected with consideration of the distance electors would be required to travel in order to vote. Every attempt must be made to notify electors of each curbside voting precinct before the election and on the day of the election through the media and by posted notice at the designated polling place.

SECTION   11.   For receipt of absentee ballots, the county board of voter registration and elections may utilize at least one drop box to be placed in a conspicuous and prominently labeled location outside its office. Each county board of voter registration and elections may designate no more than two additional locations in or near government buildings in the county to place drop boxes for receipt of absentee ballots. The drop box must meet at least the minimum standards or guidelines established by the Department of Homeland Security and the Elections Assistance Commission, if applicable. Each county board of voter registration and elections must take steps to secure the drop box and remove the ballots at least once each business day that the office is open. At least two people must be present to remove the ballots from the drop box, and the receipt of these ballots must be recorded as absentee ballots received by mail. All absentee ballot drop boxes must be emptied and secured at 7:00 p.m. on the day of the election.

SECTION   12.   In order to maintain standards of social distancing and other safety precautions to protect electors due to COVID-19, for the November 3, 2020, General Election, a county board of voter registration and elections shall designate at least one and no more than three locations in the county to serve as curbside voting precincts. Any elector eligible to vote in the county who is disabled or who is assisting a disabled elector may vote at a designated curbside voting precinct. If designated on or before October 23, 2020, a curbside voting precinct must be approved by a majority of the legislative delegation. If designated after October 23, 2020, the county board must notify the members of the legislative delegation. Curbside voting precincts must be selected with consideration of the distance electors would be required to travel in order to vote. Every attempt must be made to notify electors of each curbside voting precinct before the election and on the day of the election through the media and by posted notice at the designated polling place.

SECTION   13.   A.     Notwithstanding the provisions of Chapter 13 or Chapter 5 of Title 7 of the Code of Laws of South Carolina, for the November 3, 2020, General Election, each county board of voter registration and elections shall establish a procedure by which a qualified elector may cast his ballot, without excuse, during an early voting period for that election. The qualified elector may cast a ballot during an early voting period pursuant to this section.

B.   Early voting centers must be established and maintained to ensure that voters may cast only one ballot.

C.   If a qualified elector casts his ballot at an early voting center, he must do so in the county in which he resides.

D.   Each county board of registration and elections must establish at least one early voting center and may establish up to three early voting centers. The county board of registration and elections shall determine the location of each early voting center or centers. Each early voting center must be supervised by county board of registration and elections employees.

E.   The early voting period begins ten days before the election and ends three days prior to the election.

F.   The county board of registration and elections shall determine the hours of operation for the early voting center or centers; however:

(1)   the early voting centers shall not open on Sundays; and

(2)   the early voting centers must be open for two Saturdays within the early voting period.

G.     In addition to the early voting centers established pursuant to this section, a county board of registration and elections may authorize up to two additional early voting centers if the county board of registration and elections finds there is a need for additional early voting centers after holding a public hearing on the matter. The county board of registration and elections must determine the location of any additional early voting center or centers.

H.     A sign must be posted prominently in each early voting center and shall have printed on it: VOTING MORE THAN ONCE IS A MISDEMEANOR AND, UPON CONVICTION, A PERSON MUST BE FINED IN THE DISCRETION OF THE COURT OR IMPRISONED NOT MORE THAN THREE YEARS.

I.   The Executive Director of the State Election Commission must enter into the master file a separate designation for each voter casting an absentee ballot or an early ballot for the November 3, 2020, General Election.

SECTION   14.   (A)   The provisions of this act only apply to the 2020 General Election, scheduled for November 3, 2020, and the processes to finalize the results of the 2020 General Election. The provisions of this act must not be applied to any other election or election process other than the 2020 General Election.

(B)   The provisions of this act take effect upon approval by the Governor.     /

Renumber sections to conform.

Amend title to conform.

On motion of Senator MALLOY, with unanimous consent, Amendment No. 15 was withdrawn.

Amendment No. 17

Senators MARGIE B. MATTHEWS and McLEOD proposed the following amendment (5305R005.SP.MBM), which was tabled:

Amend the bill, as and if amended, by adding an appropriately numbered new SECTION to read:

/   SECTION   __.   Each county board of voter registration and elections must establish at least one early voting center and may establish up to three early voting centers. The county board of voter registration and elections shall determine the location of the early voting center or centers. The early voting period begins October 1, 2020 and ends October 31, 2020. The county board of voter registration and elections shall determine the hours of operation for the early voting center or centers, provided that the early voting centers shall not be open on Sundays.     /

Renumber sections to conform.

Amend title to conform.

Senator M.B. MATTHEWS explained the amendment.

Senator MASSEY moved to lay the amendment on the table.

The amendment was laid on the table.

Statement by Senators MASSEY and CAMPSEN

This amendment would allow for in-person absentee voting to begin on October 1st. Amendment 8, which we voted for, allows for in-person absentee voting to being on October 5th. We believe that is sufficient.

Amendment No. 18

Senators MARGIE B. MATTHEWS and McLEOD proposed the following amendment (5305R006.SP.MBM), which was tabled:

Amend the bill, as and if amended, by adding an appropriately numbered new SECTION to read:

/   SECTION   __.   Each county board of voter registration and elections shall designate at least one polling place that allows any qualified elector in the county to cast a ballot from a vehicle. Paper ballots are authorized in lieu of voting machines for this purpose. Ballots cast from a vehicle shall be tabulated and reported as a separate precinct./

Renumber sections to conform.

Amend title to conform.

Senator M.B. MATTHEWS explained the amendment.

Senator MASSEY moved to lay the amendment on the table.

The "ayes" and "nays" were demanded and taken, resulting as follows:

Ayes 25; Nays 16

AYES

Alexander                 Bennett                   Campbell
Campsen                   Cash                      Climer
Corbin                    Cromer                    Davis
Goldfinch                 Gregory                   Grooms
Hembree                   Loftis                    Martin
Massey                    Peeler                    Rankin
Rice                      Senn                      Shealy
Talley                    Turner                    Verdin
Young

Total--25

NAYS

Allen                     Fanning                   Harpootlian
Jackson                   Johnson                   Kimpson
Malloy                    Matthews, Margie          McElveen
McLeod                    Nicholson                 Reese
Sabb                      Scott                     Setzler
Williams

Total--16

The amendment was laid on the table.

Statement by Senators MASSEY and CAMPSEN

We voted against this amendment because it is unnecessary and would lead to voter confusion on Election Day. The amendment reduces the number of polling places that offer curbside voting. Amendment #8 ensures that each polling location shall continue to offer curbside voting. Because Amendment #8 allows for more opportunities for voters to cast absentee ballots, we believe there will be fewer people who will vote in person on Election Day thereby allowing poll workers more time to work with curbside voters.

Amendment No. 19

Senators MARGIE B. MATTHEWS and McLEOD proposed the following amendment (5305R007.SP.MBM), which was tabled:

Amend the bill, as and if amended, by adding an appropriately numbered new SECTION to read:

/   SECTION   __.   A completed voter registration portion of an application for a state motor vehicle driver's license accepted at a state motor vehicle authority must be transmitted to a county board of voter registration and elections no later than five days after the date of acceptance until October 5, 2020. After October 5, 2020, if a registration application is accepted, then the application must be transmitted to a county board of voter registration and elections within twenty-four hours after the date of acceptance.     /

Renumber sections to conform.

Amend title to conform.

Senator M.B. MATTHEWS spoke on the amendment.

Senator MASSEY moved to lay the amendment on the table.

The "ayes" and "nays" were demanded and taken, resulting as follows:

Ayes 25; Nays 16

AYES

Alexander                 Bennett                   Campbell
Campsen                   Cash                      Climer
Corbin                    Cromer                    Davis
Goldfinch                 Gregory                   Grooms
Hembree                   Loftis                    Martin
Massey                    Peeler                    Rankin
Rice                      Senn                      Shealy
Talley                    Turner                    Verdin
Young

Total--25

NAYS

Allen                     Fanning                   Harpootlian
Jackson                   Johnson                   Kimpson
Malloy                    Matthews, Margie          McElveen
McLeod                    Nicholson                 Reese
Sabb                      Scott                     Setzler
Williams

Total--16

The amendment was laid on the table.

Statement by Senators MASSEY and CAMPSEN

This amendment would alter the timeline during which DMV transmits new voter registration to the Election Commission. The amendment would have no effect on this election because voters who register after October 5th aren't eligible to vote in this election because they failed to register within 30 days of the election.

Amendment No. 20

Senators MARGIE B. MATTHEWS and McLEOD proposed the following amendment (5305R008.SP.MBM), which was tabled:

Amend the bill, as and if amended, by adding an appropriately numbered new SECTION to read:

/   SECTION   __.   Each county board of voter registration and elections must provide a secure ballot box at each county election office and satellite offices as applicable. A secure ballot box must be monitored by election office staff during hours of operation. All ballots must be collected daily and safely transferred for tabulation and reporting as provided in Section 7-15-420.     /

Renumber sections to conform.

Amend title to conform.

Senator M.B. MATTHEWS explained the amendment.

Senator MASSEY moved to lay the amendment on the table.

The "ayes" and "nays" were demanded and taken, resulting as follows:

Ayes 25; Nays 16

AYES

Alexander                 Bennett                   Campbell
Campsen                   Cash                      Climer
Corbin                    Cromer                    Davis
Goldfinch                 Gregory                   Grooms
Hembree                   Loftis                    Martin
Massey                    Peeler                    Rankin
Rice                      Senn                      Shealy
Talley                    Turner                    Verdin
Young

Total--25

NAYS

Allen                     Fanning                   Harpootlian
Jackson                   Johnson                   Kimpson
Malloy                    Matthews, Margie          McElveen
McLeod                    Nicholson                 Reese
Sabb                      Scott                     Setzler
Williams

Total--16

The amendment was laid on the table.

Statement by Senators MASSEY and CAMPSEN

This amendment was described as allowing drop boxes to be used to collect absentee ballots. We voted against this amendment because if drop boxes are used as contemplated by this amendment then it would undermine existing laws protecting the integrity of the ballot against the anti-fraud provisions in our election law, including ballot harvesting. Amendment No. 8, adopted by the Senate, creates more options for absentee voters to return their ballots while also maintaining ballot integrity.

Amendment No. 21

Senator MARGIE B. MATTHEWS proposed the following amendment (5305R002.SP.MBM), which was tabled:

Amend the bill, as and if amended, by adding an appropriately numbered new SECTION to read:

/   SECTION   __.   Face coverings must be worn inside of a polling place and within two hundred feet of an entrance to a polling place. Any qualified elector who does not wear a face covering in accordance with this SECTION must cast a ballot from his vehicle pursuant to Section 7-13-771. Face coverings may not bear any type of campaign literature or serve as a political poster. Each polling place must have a notice of this requirement within two hundred feet of an entrance to the polling place./

Renumber sections to conform.

Amend title to conform.

Senator M.B. MATTHEWS explained the amendment.

Senator MASSEY moved to lay the amendment on the table.

The "ayes" and "nays" were demanded and taken, resulting as follows:

Ayes 25; Nays 15

AYES

Alexander                 Bennett                   Campbell
Campsen                   Cash                      Climer
Corbin                    Cromer                    Davis
Goldfinch                 Gregory                   Grooms
Hembree                   Loftis                    Martin
Massey                    Peeler                    Rankin
Rice                      Senn                      Shealy
Talley                    Turner                    Verdin
Young

Total--25

NAYS

Allen                     Fanning                   Harpootlian
Jackson                   Johnson                   Kimpson
Malloy                    Matthews, Margie          McElveen
McLeod                    Nicholson                 Reese
Sabb                      Scott                     Williams

Total--15

The amendment was laid on the table.

Statement by Senators MASSEY and CAMPSEN

We voted against this amendment because it was unnecessary. Amendment #8 already provides for protections for absentee voters. We are confident that the State Election Commission, county election commissions, and poll workers will take necessary steps to ensure polling site safety.

The question then was second reading of the Bill.

The "ayes" and "nays" were demanded and taken, resulting as follows:

Ayes 42; Nays 0
AYES

Alexander                 Allen                     Bennett
Campbell                  Campsen                   Cash
Climer                    Corbin                    Cromer
Davis                     Fanning                   Goldfinch
Gregory                   Grooms                    Harpootlian
Hembree                   Jackson                   Johnson
Kimpson                   Loftis                    Malloy
Martin                    Massey                    Matthews, Margie
McElveen                  McLeod                    Nicholson
Peeler                    Rankin                    Reese
Rice                      Sabb                      Scott
Senn                      Setzler                   Shealy
Sheheen                   Talley                    Turner
Verdin                    Williams                  Young

Total--42

NAYS

Total--0

There being no further amendments, the Bill was read the second time, passed and ordered to a third reading.

On motion of Senator MASSEY, the Senate agreed that if and when the Senate adjourns, it stand adjourned to meet Thursday, September 3, 2020, under the provisions of Rule 1B.

H. 5305--Ordered to a Third Reading

On motion of Senator MASSEY, with unanimous consent, H. 5305 was ordered to receive a third reading on Thursday, September 3, 2020.

On motion of Senator MASSEY, the Senate agreed to stand adjourned.

On motion of Senator MALLOY, with unanimous consent, the Senate stood adjourned out of respect to the memory of Mr. Chadwick Aaron Boseman of Anderson, S.C. Chadwick graduated from TL Hanna High School and from Howard University. He had many achievements but most famous for his role in the first superhero movie to be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar and one of the highest grossing films of all time, Black Panther. Chadwick was a loving son and devoted husband who will be dearly missed.

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