VIC COLUMN: It Is (Would Be) Good To See
It’s good to see that an independent commission is drawing lines for redistricting state house and senate seats in South Carolina. This is real election reform, as opposed to the “reform” of letting people vote by showing their driver’s license.
What’s the point of having a voter registration card anyway?
If I had my way, there would be a lot more election reform. It would be good if many house districts didn’t look like slithering snake designed for incumbent protection, and to prevent minority representation.
It would be good to see doing away with run-offs - the person with the most votes wins. that’s the way it should be. That would take away candidates running for office just to force a run-off. Four people have decided to challenge the incumbent for one Clinton City Council seat. That sends a clear message to the incumbent.
And, while we’re at it, it would be good to see a law that says, “If you run for a seat, you have to live in the district (or city).” There are people running for offices that don’t live here. It’s legal because they own property here, and only have to live on that property for one day - Election Day. They can bring a camper.
It would be good to see that done away with. Commit to the district, city, county, whatever full-time, not just with a one-time property tax payment.
There is considerable sentiment on the national level to increase the number of people in the House of Representatives. We’ve been stuck at 435 for a long time now; who really knows if that number truly is representative of a widely diverse population.
And, there are people who want to do away with the Electoral College. I’m wavering about this - on one hand, I don’t want New York City and Los Angeles County alone electing the next president, but I do want the person who gets the most Popular Votes to be the election winner. Not some convoluted system where south-central Wyoming has the same voting power as south-central Atlanta.
On another matter, it is good to see the Clinton City Council opposed to drunk driving and illegal drugs. They have declared 2019 to be a year of addressing DUI and a year of “war on illegal drug use”. Tamping down the abuse of prescription drugs would be a good thing, too.
If you intend to drive drunk in the City of Clinton, just remember, you’re going to have spend a night in jail and pay a $400 fine. Always remember to refuse the Breathalyzer; under South Carolina law, it’s your right and the state has no physical evidence to prove that you are drunk. Hire a lawyer, many are really skilled at advising you about a DUI case, especially on second offense.
In Laurens County. if you are charged with a drunk driving wreck that kills somebody, just remember, you might not get bail right away.
Two people who were charged that way in 2018 in Laurens County - both women, and between them, three people died - did not get bond right away. In another case, a man charged that way did get bail after he was able to leave the hospital and come to court. The state certainly didn’t want to have to pay his medical bills, as he sat in jail denied bond.
It is good to see this thought-provoking statement, from the city’s anti-drunk driving proclamation issued Jan. 7, “every year motor vehicle crashes kill over 42,000 people and 18,000 of those crashes are alcohol or drug related; and injure over three million people; and ... every day in the United States 36 people lose their lives and 700 are injured in car crashes involving an impaired driver.”
We need that sobering reminder.
Also consider this thought-provoking statement from the city’s anti-illegal drugs proclamation issued Jan. 7, “the City of Clinton values the health and safety of all our citizens; and ... substance abuse is particularly damaging to one of our most valuable resources, our children, and a contributing factor in the three leading causes of death for teenagers - accidents, homicides and suicides.”
We need that reminder.
The Coroner’s Office just reported that in 2018, 21 people died of suicide. I refuse to say “committed” - that word implies something else, as in “committed to a hospital,” or “he/she was committed to the cause.” I prefer “died of suicide” - same as “died of homicide.” We could stop these deaths if we really wanted to - we would rather devote our resources elsewhere.
It would be good to see that changed.
(Vic MacDonald is Editor of The Clinton Chronicle. Reach him at 833-1900 or email@example.com)