Making Democracy Work

Action and Advocacy

We are truly a grassroots organization...


The League of Women Voters takes action on an issue or advocates for a cause when there is an existing League position that supports the issue or speaks to the cause.

Positions result from a process of study. Any given study, whether it be National, State, or Local, is thorough in its pursuit of facts and details. As the study progresses, a continuing discussion of pros and cons of each situation occurs. Prior to the results of the study being presented to the general membership, study committee members fashion consensus questions that are then addressed by the membership.

Additional discussion, pro and con, takes place as members (not part of the study committee) learn the scope of the study. After the members reach consensus, the board forms positions based on that consensus.

It is the consensus statement -- the statement resulting from the consensus questions -- that becomes a position. Firm action or advocacy can then be taken on the particular issue addressed by the position. Without a position, action/advocacy cannot be taken.

LWVHHI/BA Program Plan 2017-2018 Focus for Action
Approved May 10, 2017

Informing and Engaging the Electorate

Hold candidate forums for key local races.

Hold issue forums as needed.

Partner with other organizations regarding elected positions likely to become available, the deadlines for filing and the longer-term possibility of developing a database to match government positions with women seeking appointed or elective office.

Utilize a variety of media to share information/communicate messages, with more emphasis on electronic media.

Continue having programs related to our January 2017 meeting on "Creating the Beloved Community: A Conversation on Race Relations."

Protecting Voters and Voting Rights

Support LWVUS/SC positions on Voting Rights/Protection and Money in Politics.

Expand voter registration activities/locations, with particular attention to underserved communities and youth and to partnership opportunities.

Maintain relationship with Board of Voter Registration and Elections.

Advocate for greater number of voter registration places and adequate number, location, and resources for polling places. Publicize on-line registration.

Protecting Our Natural Resources

Study local and area-wide transportation issues as they relate to land use and natural resources, with a view to educating our members and recommending action, if warranted,

With other South Carolina Leagues, monitor efforts in regard to off-shore drilling proposals and take action when needed.

Monitor the expenditures and purposes of land purchases made with public funds approved by the voters by referendum.

Monitor other LWVHHI/BA natural resources positions with a view to recommending action as appropriate.

Approved 5/10/17




On March 14, 2018, the League of Women Voters of Hilton Head Island/Bluffton Area sponsored a Public Information Forum on South Carolina Public School Funding: School Funding is Everyone's Business

To hear what leaders and experts said at our forum, visit these links:

Forum Moderator: Dr. Barbara S. Nielsen, SC Superintendent of Education 1992-1998

Forum participants:

  • Josh Gruber, Interim Executive Director, Beaufort County Government
  • Tonya Crosby, Chief Financial Officer, Beaufort County School District
  • Dr. Holley Ullbrich, Distinguished Professor Emerita of Economics at Clemson University, Consultant/ Policy Analyst on Public Finance


Letter (January 13, 2018) from LWV National President, Chris Carson, condemning racist comments by President Trump during a bipartisan meeting with Congressional leaders


We are appalled and disgusted by President Trump's racist statement made during a bipartisan meeting about Immigration yesterday. Language and ideals like this have no place in our society, and certainly not in our White House. (For full text see below)

letter from league president on racisist comments
Copy of letter from US LWV League President


Letter to the Editor of the Island Packet and Beaufort Gazette, December 1, 2017

To The Editor:

Our state Supreme Court's decision to dismiss its landmark Abbeville ruling, 24 years in the making, marks another set-back in ensuring equity in education for all our state's students. That stark education disparities exist between the poorer and more affluent districts in our state was made clear to many of our citizens in the 2005 documentary "Corridor of Shame," which depicted the deplorable state of the under-resourced rural schools along the I-95 corridor.

The League of Women Voters of Hilton Head Island/Bluffton Area differs with the court's assessment that since the 2014 Abbeville ruling there have been "transformational" changes in education in our state. Although some steps have been taken, they are small and fail to deal with an inequitable education funding formula in need of an overhaul.

Now that the court has retreated on this issue, it is the responsibility of the General Assembly to make good on its recent public assertions that it wants to ensure a 21st century quality education for all our students. This means moving far beyond the "minimally adequate education" requirement posed in our state Constitution.

Maintaining the status quo is unconscionable.

Nancy Williams, Co-President League of Women Voters of Hilton Head and Bluffton Area


Letter to the Editor of the Island Packet and Beaufort Gazette, July 13, 2017

The League of Women Voters of Hilton Head Island/Bluffton Area strenuously oppose seismic testing Regarding the proposed "Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Geophysical Surveys in the Atlantic Ocean," the League of Women Voters of Hilton Head Island/Bluffton Area strenuously oppose seismic testing in the waters off our coast as a prelude to possible offshore drilling for oil and gas. These tests, which are loud and jarring, are detrimental to all marine life. The economy of South Carolina depends on the health of the marine animals off our shore for fishermen, crabbers, and oystermen, and are important to our tourism industry.

Whatever benefits might be realized from offshore drilling, should seismic testing reveal substantial oil and gas deposits, are far outweighed by the substantial damage to our environment, health and quality of life. The negative impact on our fisheries, business climate and tourism industry would be enormous. Seismic testing and offshore drilling must not be permitted off the shores of the State of South Carolina

Nancy Williams and Dot Law, Co-presidents

Letter to The Island Packet/Beaufort Gazette(published April 17, 2017)

Along with the League of Women Voters of the United States, the League of Women Voters of Hilton Head Island/Bluffton area is very concerned about the current movement in Congress to terminate the Election Assistance Commission (EAC). With continuing controversy about the accuracy, conduct and participation in American elections, this is not the time to abolish the only federal entity devoted exclusively to improving election administration on a bipartisan basis.

The EAC does invaluable work to improve our nation's election systems on a voluntary, non-regulatory basis. It oversees the federal voting system certification program that sets standards for the upgrade of America's voting machines and that 47 states depend on to maintain their voting machines. The EAC also improves accessibility at the polls for more than 37 million voters with disabilities. Finally, local election officials rely on the EAC to provide best practices on voting and election administration.

The EAC instills confidence in our election system. Rather than eliminating the EAC, Congress should provide the agency with resources and a renewed commitment to sponsoring and encouraging information state and local officials.

Elections are the life blood of a democracy. We urge readers of The Island Packet/Beaufort Gazette to join us in asking Representative Mark Sanford to oppose The Election Assistance Commission Termination Act.

Fran Holt, President League of Women Voters of Hilton Head Island/Bluffton Area

Letter to County Council, February 210, 2017

D. Paul Sommerville, Chairman Beaufort County Council 1509 Pigeon Point Road Beaufort, South Carolina 29902

Dear Chairman Sommerville:

The members of the League of Women Voters of Hilton Head Island/Bluffton Area urge the Beaufort County Council to move with extreme caution before approving a development as large as Scratch Golf LLC is proposing for the Hilton Head National Golf Course property.

The impact on the natural environment would be huge--new demands on our regional water supply, possible pollution of air and water, destruction of green space and wildlife habitat. The impact on the built environment would also be huge--long lines on roads and bridges, greater use of energy, expansive impervious surfaces leading to erosion and water pollution and trapping of heat. We are also concerned the development, as currently proposed, would overburden services provided by government including schools, the sheriff's department and fire protection.

As stated by the League of Women Voters of South Carolina, we believe in promoting "an environment beneficial to life through the protection and wise management of natural resources in the public interest by recognizing the interrelationships of air quality, energy, land use, habitat preservation, waste management and water resources." We urge the members of the Beaufort County Council to proceed with such goals in mind when agreeing to the parameters of this proposed development.

Thank you for considering our views.


Fran Holt, President
Sally McGarry, Natural Resources/Land Use Committee Chair
League of Women Voters of Hilton Head Island/Bluffton Area

cc: Members of Beaufort County Council


Creating the Beloved Community, January 11, 2017

In the spirit of Martin Luther King, we sponsored this conversation on race relations in our communities. If you missed that event or simply want to revisit it, here, courtesy of WSAV, is a link Creating the Beloved Community