Letters to the Editor

Posted

Questions about

CEC election

Dear Editor:

I ask this question with all due respect to the hard-working folks at Coastal Electric Cooperative: I can’t understand how I can vote for the president of the USA by legitimate absentee vote and not be allowed to vote via absentee/authorized representative for a “District Zone” nominee for a Coastal Electric position.

I might be mistaken, but I think PRTC allows an individual to be represented by someone else with respect to voting. In these days of “Covid,” more consideration for voting possibilities should be considered.

Just my humble opinion. Keep up the great work!!!

I thank you in advance for a reply.

Marc Brewer

Bennetts Point

Response from

CEC’s attorney

H. Manning Unger:

The short answer is that the legislation adopted by the members of the South Carolina General Assembly effectively prohibit absentee voting. The latest round of legislation that includes this prohibition was signed into law by the Governor on 5/16/2019.

The technical answer: Section 33-49-430 says “[v]oting by proxy for any purpose is prohibited.” Voting by proxy means you designate someone else to vote on your behalf and designate how that person should vote. If you own any shares in a public corporation, you have probably received a notice of their annual meeting along with a proxy appointment form. The proxy appointment form usually appoints certain officers of the corporation as your proxy to vote your shares. Usually the form also has a box for you to check to direct the proxy who to vote for. This is how you vote without going to the meeting. An electric cooperative is like a corporation except that the customer/members are entitled to vote, not the shareholders. In fact there are no shareholders — the customer/members of the electric cooperative are effectively the shareholders of the electric cooperative. So if customer/members want to vote, but not vote in person, the customer/member has to appoint a proxy to vote for the customer/member. But the statue doesn’t allow votes by proxy.

Elections for government offices, where absentee ballots are specifically authorized, have different rules. For example, you can vote for president even if you haven’t paid your power bill. You can’t vote for an electric cooperative trustee if you have not paid your power bill. A corporation in good standing with the electric cooperative can vote for an electric cooperative trustee. A corporation cannot vote for president.

I have not reviewed the law which governs PRTC so I can’t speak as to why PRTC can allow absentee voting.

If the membership wants to change this process, the first step is to talk to their legislator and ask that they do something about this.

Thanks for letter

from prisoner

Dear Editor:

Thank you for publishing the prisoners letters on the employee/prisoner affair coverup at the prison and subsequent mistreatment of prisoners. This certainly shows the general public that the warden is a Hollywood-style, evil, despicable crook and the woman having a sexual relationship with a prisoner is on the wrong side of the bars.

This cast of characters should be running for office; they have all the qualifications. Hopefully more prisoners will have the confidence to speak out. We already know they get slop for food and third world, if any, medical care.

South Carolina is run by barbarians.

Sincerely,

Mary Gallagher

Walterboro

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