Democrats Secure Key Victory For South Carolina Voters

Election Officials Agree To Prepay Postage On Absentee Ballot Return Envelopes

Today, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Democratic National Committee, and South Carolina Democratic Party announced that the South Carolina State Election Commission has agreed to provide prepaid postage on absentee ballot return envelopes for the general election.

This agreement follows a lawsuit filed earlier this year seeking to remove four restrictive and unconstitutional barriers to accessing an absentee mail-in ballot, including the postage tax requiring that voters pay their own postage to return a ballot. Democrats will continue to challenge the other three barriers ahead of November.

If states refuse to implement protections that open access to using an absentee mail-in ballot, the COVID-19 pandemic could force voters to choose between their health and safety or participating in democracy.

DCCC Chairwoman Rep. Cheri Bustos

“This victory helps keep fair, safe and healthy access to the ballot within reach for South Carolinians by removing barriers to participation in our democracy. The people of South Carolina should know that Democrats are fighting to protect their ability to vote and their right to have their vote counted fairly.”

Majority Whip Rep. James Clyburn

“This decision to provide prepaid postage to South Carolina absentee voters eliminates a poll tax that would have discouraged voting and forced more people to risk their health by voting in person during this unprecedented pandemic. This is simply the right thing to do. This is a huge victory for the democratic process. The right to vote is sacred, and we must remove all impediments to the ballot.”

Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez

“This is a critical step forward in securing South Carolinians’ ability to safely vote in this election. Democrats won’t allow this pandemic to be used as an excuse to keep voters from making their voices heard. That’s why we’re going to keep fighting in South Carolina and across the country for commonsense steps to ensure a safe, fair, and accessible election.”

SCDP Director of Voter Protection Shaundra Young Scott 

“SCDP is very pleased that the South Carolina Election Commission has agreed to provide postage on absentee ballot return envelopes for voters for the general election. This is a huge victory for voters as we continue to fight to protect voters’ rights during this global pandemic. Providing postage will provide confidence to voters that their ballots will be received and counted. This is also a step in the right direction to address long lines on Election Day. Our hope is that this decision serves as a catalyst to expand absentee ballot excuses and institute a vote-by-mail system in South Carolina. We will continue to fight to protect the rights and health of our voters.”