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Trump meets with Martin Luther King III on Monday to discuss voting rights
01/16/17 |
Publication Date: 
Monday, January 16, 2017 - 17:00
Excerpt: 

The private session at Trump Tower with civil rights advocates, on the same day the nation is honoring the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, represented a mix of symbolism and substance. King III has campaigned for years to establish a form of free government photo identification that could make it easier for Americans who lack a driver’s license or other official ID to cast ballots. He and the other attendees, including the Rev. James A. Forbes, have urged Trump to endorse the idea of making such identification free. ...

According to one of the meeting’s participants, who asked for anonymity to discuss a private conversation, Trump expressed a serious interest in making photos available on Social Security cards and said he would study the issue in further detail. ...

Proponents of the voter card emphasize that it will be voluntary, rather than universal, and said it represents a rational response to the fact that voter ID laws are poised to proliferate given Republicans’ recent gains on the state and federal level.

“We’re going to end up with more and more voter ID laws,” said American Enterprise Institute resident scholar Norman Ornstein. “And that’s a reality, and the question pragmatically is, what is the best way to deal with it?”

Ornstein noted that looking at minority turnout in the 2016 presidential election results, “It was down more in states with strict laws than in states without it."

Martin Luther King III: Trump agrees the voting system is broken. Here’s how he can fix it.
01/14/17 |
Publication Date: 
Saturday, January 14, 2017 - 01:00
Excerpt: 

[W]e can agree that every citizen should have the unfettered opportunity to vote. Indeed, my concern is not how people vote, but simply that they vote. ...

Fortunately, President-elect Trump agrees. Throughout the campaign, he consistently reminded the electorate that the system is broken.

Even more fortunately, it is indisputable that nonpartisan, common-sense solutions are available. In 2014, as the nation celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act at the LBJ Presidential Library, former presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton endorsed my friend Andrew Young’s proposal that all citizens be able to obtain a photo ID card that would meet the voting requirements in every state. Following the event, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly voiced his support for the plan, saying they were “doing the country a service” and declaring, “Let’s get the pictures on the Social Security card, stop the nonsense and be a responsible country.” As Young has said, “The challenge with voter ID laws isn’t the requirement to show ID, it’s that so many people lack ID. That is the problem that needs to be fixed — and not just for voting. In today’s world, you can’t open a bank account without a photo ID — and the only people happy about that are check cashers.” ...

[A]t the end of the day, the right to vote is not a Republican right or a Democratic right — it is an American right. If Trump enables more Americans to exercise that right in future elections, he will be able to say that in no small measure he really did make America great again.
 

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South Carolina Election Info

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2016 General Election: November 8, 2016

Voter Registration Deadline: October 8, 2016

For more information, visit the South Carolina Election Commission website.

Election Day:

Polls are open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Early voting: Registered voters may go in person to their county board of elections office (or an alternative location) to vote an absentee ballot.  One-stop absentee voting ends at 5:00 p.m. on the day before the election.  You can find the locations and times of early voting polling places at the South Carolina Election Commission’s website.

How to Find Your Polling Place: Visit the polling place page on the South Carolina Election Commission’s website.

REGISTER TO VOTE HERE

Already registered? Verify your voter registration status.


Registration Deadlines: You must register 30 days prior to the General Election. The deadline for this year’s General Election is Saturday, October 8.

Except for a person who was discharged or separated from his or her service in the Armed Forces and arrived home too late to register, South Carolina does not have same day registration

How to Check Your Registration: Visit the voter registration page on the South Carolina Election Commission’s website or call 866-OUR-VOTE.

Registration Eligibility:

In order to register in South Carolina you must:

  • be a citizen of the United States;
  • be a resident of South Carolina, this county, and this polling precinct;
  • be at least 18 years old on or before Election day;
  • not be convicted of a felony or offense against the election laws or, if previously convicted, have served the entire sentence, including probation or parole, or have received a pardon for the conviction;
  • not be serving a prison term for a criminal conviction; and
  • not have been declared mentally incompetent by a court. 

There is no duration of residence requirement in South Carolina; you may register the first day that you move to the state.

How to Register: South Carolina residents may register online, in person, or by mail/fax/email.

Online

In order to register to vote online, you must have either a South Carolina’s Driver’s License or a DMV ID. Applicants can apply to register on the registration page of the South Carolina Election Commission’s Website. Applicants must have an updated address with the DMV.

In Person

You may register to vote in person at your county’s board of voter registration whose location can be found at your county’s contact information page.

By Mail/Fax/Email

In order to register by mail, fax, or email, you must obtain a registration form by:

Identification Required for Registration: If you are registering by mail/fax/email for the first time in this county, you must attach to your registration form a copy of a current valid photo ID or a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, or other government document that shows your name and address in this county. If you do not provide this information with your form, you must provide it when you vote. 

If You Want to Vote Early

You can find the locations and times of early voting polling places at the absentee voting page.

If You Want to Vote Absentee

Any registered South Carolina voter in one of the following categories can request a mail-in absentee ballot if they absent from their county of residence on Election Day during the hours the polls are open:

  • Students, their spouses, and dependents residing with them;
  • People serving with the American Red Cross or with the USO who are attached to the Armed Forces, their spouses, and dependents residing with them;
  • Governmental employees, their spouses, and dependents residing with them;
  • People on vacation; and
  • Overseas citizens

Voters (or their near relative or legal guardian) can obtain an absentee ballot application on the South Carolina Election Commission’s website.

Deadlines

  • An application for an absentee ballot that is submitted by mail must be received by the voter’s county board of elections no later than 5:00 p.m. four days before the election.
  • An application for absentee ballot that is submitted in person be accepted until 5:00 p.m. the day before the election.
  • The voter must return the ballot to the county voter registration office so that it is received by no later than 7:00 p.m. on the day of the election. 

Identification Requirements to Cast a Ballot

A Photo ID is required to vote in South Carolina.    The ID must be valid and current.  Acceptable forms of ID include:

  • South Carolina Driver’s License;
  • Photo ID issued by the DMV;
  • Passport;
  • Photo Military ID issued by the federal government; and
  • South Carolina voter registration card with photograph.

If you have one of these forms of photo ID, but do not have the identification with you, you may leave, get your photo ID, and return to vote by regular ballot.  Otherwise, you may vote by provisional ballot.  Your provisional ballot will ONLY count if you show photo ID to the election commissioner prior to certification of the election (usually Thursday or Friday after the election).

There are two primary exceptions to the photo identification requirement:

  • A voter who cannot produce one of the acceptable forms of photo ID due to a religious objection.
  • A voter who cannot product one of the acceptable forms of photo ID due to an impediment that prevents him/her from obtaining one.

In either case, the voter may complete an affidavit at the polling place and cast a provisional ballot.

VoteRiders has created South Carolina voter ID info cards in English and in Spanish.

Moving within the Same County

A voter has two options:  

  1. Go to the voter registration office, complete a change of address form, and vote a full ballot.
  2. Go to his or her previous polling place and vote a provisional ballot after completing change of address form.

Moving Between Counties

A voter has two options:  

  1. Go to the voter registration office, complete a change of address form, and vote a full ballot.
  2. Go to his or her previous polling place and vote a provisional ballot after completing change of address form. 

 

Registering and Requesting an Absentee Ballot

Overseas and military voters (and their dependents) may request an absentee ballot under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA).  The voter can get step-by-step assistance and forms at the South Carolina page of the Federal Voting Assistance Program website.

Receiving an Absentee Ballot

UOCAVA voters may request an absentee ballot by completing the Federal Post Card Application. This application can be filled out online at the South Carolina page of the Federal Voting Assistance Program website or an application can be downloaded from the website and brought to the voter’s local election office.

Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot

The Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB) is a back-up ballot that can be used by UOCAVA voters.  You can use this FWAB whether you are located inside or outside the United States (including APO and FPO addresses), provided that you are away from your voting residence for service-related activities.  You must apply for a regular ballot early enough for your local election officials to receive the request at least 5 days before the election.  If you do not receive your regular ballot in time, you may use the FWAB.  To request a FWAB, complete the form online at the South Carolina page of the Federal Voting Assistance Program website or a form can be downloaded from the website and brought to the voter’s local election office.

Deadlines

  • An application for an absentee ballot for the General Election must be received by October 8, 2016.

A ballot for the General Election must be received by 5 pm on the second day after the election.

A citizen cannot vote in South Carolina if he or she has been convicted of a felony and has not fully completed the terms of the felony sentence, including completion of probation, parole and payment of restitution.  Once the citizen has fully completed the terms of the felony sentence, he or she may register again to vote and vote a regular ballot. 

FAQ

Top Issues to Field

For more information for voters with disabilities, find a National Disability Rights Network partner in your area.

For more information for student voters, visit the Student Voting Guide from the Brennan Center for Justice.

Information provided by Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights

Voting as a Student

As a student, you have a constitutional right to register and vote in the place you truly consider to be “home” — whether that’s your parents’ house, your apartment, or your dorm room. But before you make the important decision about where to vote, make sure you know the voting rules (and sometimes consequences) of registering to vote in that state.

More Info On Student Voting

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