Skip to content
Search

Latest Stories

Top Stories

South Carolina to pick up postage tab for absentee voters

South Carolina voting

Voters in West Columbia, above on primary day June, won't have to pay if they vote by mail this fall.

Sean Rayford/Getty Images

South Carolina has agreed to pay the postage on all mail-in ballots in the November election.

Wednesday's decision, which looks to cost the state between $750,000 and $1.2 million, partly settles one of the three-dozen lawsuits the Democrats are pursuing across the country to make voting for president easy no matter how bad the coronavirus pandemic this fall.

Many of the suits are similarly pressing states to provide postage-paid return envelopes along with all absentee ballots. Making voters affix their own stamps, the Democrats maintain, will unfairly suppress turnout and amounts to an unconstitutional poll tax.


But state law requires local election officials to provide return postage for mailed ballots in only 16 states — eight of them reliably blue and four of them solidly red, plus the 2020 potential battlegrounds Iowa, Arizona, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

South Carolina election officials say the postage expense will be covered by their share of the $400 million in federal election aid included in the pandemic economic rescue package enacted in March.

The rest of the Democratic suit to loosen the rules in South Carolina, filed 10 weeks ago, remains before a federal judge.

The state allows people older than 65 to vote absentee for any reason while making everyone else provide a specific excuse, which has resulted in only 5 percent of votes being cast that way in recent years. The suit alleges that amounts to illegal age discrimination.

Sign up for The Fulcrum newsletter

It also challenges the requirement for a witness signature on absentee ballots and the rule that envelopes will only be tallied if they arrive at election offices before the polls close.

President Trump is highly likely to secure the state's nine electoral votes, but enhanced turnout could boost the Democrats' chances of holding on to a competitive House seat and propelling their former state party chairman, Jaime Harrison, to upsetting Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham.

Read More

Rep. Don Davis and Sen. Marco Rubio

Rep. Don Davis and Sen. Marco Rubio won the Congressional Management Foundation's Democracy Award for Innovation and Modernization.

Finding innovators in an unlikely place: Congress

Fitch is the president and CEO of the Congressional Management Foundation and a former congressional staffer.

One of the last places you’d expect to see innovation in the workplace is in the halls of Congress. One lawmaker described the institution this way: Congress is “a 19th century institution often using 20th century technology to solve 21st century problems.” That is one of the reasons the Congressional Management Foundation sought to create competition among members of Congress with a Democracy Award for Innovation and Modernization.

Keep ReadingShow less
Sen. Tammy Duckworth and Rep. Don Bacon

Sen. Tammy Duckworth and Rep. Don Bacon won the "Life in Congress" award from the Congressional Management Foundation.

The best bosses in an unusual work environment: Capitol Hill

Fitch is the president and CEO of the Congressional Management Foundation and a former congressional staffer.

Our nation’s capital is known for many things — but good management practices are not among them. Stories regularly surface of bizarre tales of harassment and abuse by members of Congress. An Instagram feed a few years ago unearthed dozens of stories by staff outing less-than-desirable managers and members for their bad practices. But what about the good leaders and good managers?

Like any profession, Congress actually has quite a few exemplary office leaders. And the beneficiaries of these role models are not just their staff — it’s also their constituents. When a congressional office can retain great talent, sometimes over decades, the quality of the final legislative product or constituent service rises immensely.

Keep ReadingShow less
U.S. flag flapping in front of the Capitol Dome
rarrarorro/Getty Images

The American experiment – a democratic republic – is worth defending

Radwell is the author of“American Schism: How the Two Enlightenments Hold the Secret to Healing our Nation” and serves on the Business Council at Business for America. This is the 10th entry in a 10-part series on theAmerican schism in 2024.

As citizens of all stripes struggle to make sense of the rancorous polarization that defines our nation today, a reemerging debate centers on the very characterization of the American ideal itself: Do we strive to be a democracy or a republic?

Keep ReadingShow less
Wegovy box
Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

How Congress can quickly make Ozempic, Wegovy affordable

Pearl, the author of “ChatGPT, MD,” teaches at both the Stanford University School of Medicine and the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He is a former CEO of The Permanente Medical Group.

A whopping one in eight U.S. adults have taken GLP-1 drugs like Wegovy and Ozempic for weight loss and related conditions. Their popularity and efficacy have sparked a prescription-writing frenzy in recent years, leaving both medications on the Food and Drug Administration's drug shortage list since May 2023.

Keep ReadingShow less