Adding the Department of Administration bill to the state Senate special session, as wanted by Governor Haley, is not a slam dunk. Even though Senate President Pro Tem Glenn McConnell supports the move, a number of Senate Democrats are still peeved that early voting did not pass and may use their votes as bargaining chips in order to have it reconsidered.
Columbia Democrat John Scott is still angry about the House breaking their pledge to take up early voting before the end of the regular legislative session. Scott says he is weighing his options.
It takes a two-thirds vote to add a bill to the special session. If all 27 Republicans vote in favor of adding the measure, it would take four of the 19 Democrats to achieve a two-thirds majority.
Hartsville Democrat Gerald Malloy, who voted earlier for the abolishment of the Budget and Control Board, says he supports restructuring but he has some reservation about the proposed Department of Administration. Malloy is wary about using political leverage at this time to press for early voting because the measure has already passed the Senate and the ball is now in the House’s court.
In May the Senate passed a measure creating an 11-day window for early voting and attached it to photo ID legislation it sent back to the House, but the House rejected the measure. In conference committee, the House proposed to take up early voting in a separate measure if the amendment was removed from the photo ID bill and the Senate agreed. However, the House let the regular session end without considering early voting. Malloy says at some point lawmakers from both sides of the isle have to realize they have to build coalitions in order to get things done.
Richland County Democrat Darrell Jackson says if the state is truly attempting to get more people involved in the voting process, early voting must be offered as a viable option.
The main measures slated to be taken up during the special session are redistricting and the budget.