A while back, Governor Nikki Haley signed a strict voter ID law. The law prohibits voters from casting a ballot if they do not have a state-issued photo ID. (Click here for a great article about the law, by Corey Hutchins.)
The law will be reviewed by a panel of three federal judges on Sept. 24. The good thing is that another three-judge panel already struck down a similar voter ID law in Texas, and South Carolina's law is even stricter than that one. But just in case the law is upheld, I want voters to know what they will need to do to ensure that their vote is counted.
You can check the status of your registration at scvote.org
Make sure you have a state-issued photo ID:
If the law is upheld, those without state-issued photo IDs can obtain one for FREE by visiting the DMV. If the law is upheld, you can obtain a free ID from the DMV as well as your county election office.
No photo ID? If you do not have a state-issued photo ID on election day, you can cast a provisional ballot. In order to do so, you must sign an affidavit declaring a "reasonable impediment" to obtaining a photo ID. A "reasonable impediment" might be the inability to travel to the DMV or election office.
NOTE: These affidavits must be notarized at the polls in order to be effective. This is largely contingent on there being a volunteer notary at every single polling location -- which is unlikely. Even if the affidavit is notarized, provisional ballots can be challenged by any partisan poll watcher. As such, this is probably not the best option.
(If you are a notary and would like to volunteer, please contact Barbara Zia: ZiaB1@comcast.net; 803-251-2726)
Absentee Voting: You can vote absentee by person or by mail for any one of the following reasons:
- Persons who will be on vacation outside their county of residence on Election Day
- Members of the Uniformed Services or Merchant Marine, and their spouses and dependents residing with them
- Persons who, for reasons of employment, will not be able to vote on election day
- Physically disabled persons
- Persons sixty-five years of age or older
- Persons serving as a juror in state or federal court on Election Day
- Persons admitted to the hospital as emergency patients on day of election or within a four-day period before the election
- Persons with a death or funeral in the family within three days before the election
- Persons confined to a jail or pre-trial facility pending disposition of arrest or trial
- Persons attending sick or physically disabled persons
- Certified poll watchers, poll managers, and county election officials working on Election Day
Click Here for instructions on both in-person and mail absentee voting.
Failsafe voting is designed to allow voters who have moved but failed to update their address to update their address on election day and vote. Failsafe voting is available to voters in the following situations:
- Voter moves from one address to another within the same precinct.
- Voter moves from one precinct to another within the same county.
- Voter moves from one South Carolina county to another within 30 days of an election.
- Voter moves from one state to another after the deadline to register to vote in a Presidential election in the new state of residence.
Click Here for full instructions on failsafe voting.