EDITORIAL: The Vote & The City’s Incinerator at Rosemont Cemetery.
A very important decision
A small story runs elsewhere in today’s issue of The Clinton Chronicle (Page 11), but its significance cannot be overstated. A federal court changed a key provision in how we vote. The United States Supreme Court has changed it back.
From our hard-working friends at the Laurens County Board of Elections & Registration, we received the information via The State Election Commission. In brief, you MUST have a witness sign the envelop if you cast an absentee vote by mail.
Opponents to the provision said this is voter-suppression AND it opens people’s homes to the potentially deadly COVID-19. For this year only, they asked for the witness provision to be stricken. It was - then, it wasn’t.
Absentee votes mailed in while the witness provision was stricken will be counted (based on postmark), but there could be questions on ballots mailed in after October 7, without a signature. Absentee voting in-person at election offices also is offered, and is going on right now.
Basically, the U.S. Supreme Court said federal courts should not meddle in states’ elections business “at the last minute.” Absentee voting is expected to be heavier for the Nov. 3 General Election, as people are concerned about voting in person. Congressional action has stopped the United States Postal Service from reducing the number of mail drop-boxes in several key election states - the Postal Service also has issued guidance on how to effectively mail-in a ballot.
For the record, all Laurens County polling places will be open for business from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020 for the Presidential and Congressional Elections, as well as some local elections and a local referendum on a 1-cent sales tax (see second in a series on page one of today’s issue). You can go there to vote, if you are an eligible voter. All possible COVID-19, medically accepted protocols will be in effect at the polling places, just as they were for the June Primaries. Vote-counting on election night will happen at the Historic Courthouse in downtown Laurens.
It is so very important to vote this year - and every year, frankly. We at The Clinton Chronicle urge everyone to take advantage of the right to be heard at the polls.
It has come to our attention by a concerned citizen that the City of Clinton owns and operates an incinerator near Rosemont Cemetery, where recent clear-cutting has now exposed it to the public. It burns the carcasses of dead animals recovered in the City, and contraband (narcotics, illegal drugs, etc.) confiscated by law enforcement officials.
The City has operated the incinerator for years at this location and it meets DHEC guidelines, receiving an Air Quality Registration Permit for Crematory Operations.
For years, the facility has been out of sight, out of mind, but clear-cutting has left it exposed. People visiting the graves of loved ones now see and smell the facility.
It will take years for the trees to grow back and provide a buffer.
Moving the facility may seem a solution, but much like a waste facility, nobody wants it in their back yard.
City officials are aware of the problem.
“We are sensitive to the issue,” said Clinton Assistant City Manager Thomas Higgs. “We are constantly evaluating our operations to make them better for our residents and tax payers.”
The first step to any solution is recognizing the problem.