State and local voter registration and elections officials are using the month of May to encourage voters to prepare for June Primaries and draw attention to innovations designed to increase registration and help educate voters on candidates.
Governor Nikki Haley has declared May as Voter Education Month. State Election Commission Executive Director Marci Andino, county registration and elections officials and representatives of several advocacy organizations held a Statehouse press conference today to kickoff the month long effort to educate voters prior to the June Primaries.
“During the month of May, election officials across the State of South Carolina are focused on promoting voter registration opportunities for citizens who are not presently registered, educating registered voters on the photo ID requirements in effect for the upcoming elections and enabling them to learn more about candidates and ballot questions before going to the polls,” Andino said.
The state implemented online voter registration in 2012 and is one of just 13 states that offer true online registration. Any eligible citizen with a driver’s license or DMV ID card can register to vote online at scvotes.org.
“There are approximately 2.9 million registered voters in South Carolina, however, there are an additional 800,000 citizens who are eligible but not registered,” Andino said. Voters have until May 10th to register so they can vote in the June 10th Primary and June 24th Runoffs. Voters can also register to vote at their county voter registration office, or at a number of state and local government agencies.
Andino also unveiled the state’s online, personalized sample ballot. Through scvotes.org, voters can now access their personal sample ballot showing the specific offices and candidates, as well as any questions that may be on their ballot.
Officials also reminded voters that new photo ID rules are in effect. The June Primary will be the first statewide election held under the new rules. “Having the proper identification with you when you go to the polls to vote will streamline the check-in process and reduce long lines,” Andino said.
Here’s what voters need to know about Photo ID:
- If you are registered to vote and already have a driver’s license, an identification card issued by DMV, a passport, or a federal military ID, you are ready to vote.
- If you don’t have one of those types of photo ID, you should get one. You can go to your county voter registration and elections office and they will provide you with a voter registration card with a photo. You can also go to any DMV location and get an identification card at no charge.
- If you can’t get a Photo ID before election day, be sure to bring your non-photo voter registration card with you to the polls on Election Day. This will allow voters to sign an affidavit stating they have an impediment to obtaining a Photo ID.
For more information on Voter Education Month activities and other issues related to voter registration and elections, visit www.scvotes.org or your county registration and elections office.