by guest author Melanie Griffin
Make sure you can vote this year by keeping up with registration details and deadlines. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- To vote in South Carolina, you need to register at least thirty days before the election in which you want to participate. For example, the Democratic Presidential Preference Primary is on February 29 in SC this year, so to vote in that, you’ll need to be registered by January 30. To vote in the general presidential election, get registered by October 4.
- South Carolina has open primaries, which means anyone registered to vote can vote in either party’s primary without officially declaring themselves a member of that party.
- If you’re registering to vote in SC for the first time, you’ll need a South Carolina driver’s license or photo ID from an SC DMV.
- If you’ve moved since the last time you voted in SC, make sure your address is updated (especially if you’ve switched counties). You can change your address on the DMV’s website in about five minutes at no cost. Your address must be up to date with the DMV before you can update it for your voter registration.
- Students can register to vote “where they reside while attending college,” according to the South Carolina State Election Commission. They interpret this as either the address you live at while attending your classes, like your dorm or off-campus apartment, or the address you go to when you’re not in classes, such as your parent’s house, so you can register with either. Check the South Carolina Code of Laws section 7-1-25 for state election residency laws.
- There’s also a national voter registration application for students who want to register for home addresses that are outside South Carolina. The U.S. Vote Foundation website lets you search for other states’ deadlines if you are planning on registering elsewhere; they’re not all on the same schedule.
- If you won’t physically be in the place where you’re registered to vote on election day, apply for an absentee ballot. You can do that in person until 5 p.m. the day before the election. You can also apply for an absentee ballot over the internet or mail, and this requires you to complete and send in your absentee application by 5 p.m. four days prior to the election. You’re required to cast your absentee ballot by 7 p.m. the day of the election.
Find more details about voting in SC on the South Carolina Election Commission’s website.
by guest author Dan Brackmann
In a timely move, HeinOnline has debuted its Presidential Impeachment Library. “The library collects resources related to all four U.S. presidents who have faced impeachment. Organized by the four affected presidents, this collection brings together a variety of documents both contemporaneous and asynchronous to each president’s impeachment, presenting both a snapshot of the political climate as each impeachment played out and the long view history has taken of each proceeding.”
The library also includes relevant Congressional Research Service reports as well as a curated list of scholarly articles, external links, and a bibliography, providing avenues for further resarch on this topic. One of these is the ever-growing Whistleblower Complaint on Ukraine, compiled by Kelly Smith at UC San Diego, which brings together offical documents related to the whistleblower complaint and impeachment inquiry of Donald Trump. Hein plans to continue expanding its collection with new material, particularly as it becomes available for the current investigation into Donald Trump.
Find HeinOnline from the main library page:
If you have questions or ideas for future Resource Reviews, please email Dan Brackmann.
It sounds like a contradiction in terms, but “absentee in-person” really is what South Carolina calls its version of early voting.
A voter who has any one of the 16 listed reasons for not voting on the scheduled voting day can go in person to their county voter registration and elections office to pick up an absentee ballot, fill it out, and submit their vote ahead of time.
The locations of these offices, as well as additional satellite absentee voting offices that will be open additional hours as November 8 approaches, are on the SC Election Commission’s website.
Congressional Research Service
The Library of Congress offers the Congressional Research Service—hundreds of policy analysts, attorneys and information professionals who provide in-depth analysis on issues facing Congress. Immediately following the 2000 presidential election, there was uncertainty as to which candidate had won Florida’s 25 electoral votes because the popular vote in that state was close, and a recount process was underway. In response to questions about how this could affect the process for officially electing the President, the Congressional Research Service wrote a memo entitled Overview of Electoral College Procedure and the Role of Congress.
The popular vote in a presidential election does not directly elect the president. Voting results in the selection of electors who pledge to vote for a particular candidate for president. A faithless elector is one who does not cast the vote as pledged. South Carolina Code Section 7-19-80 provides that it is a crime for an elector from this state to be a faithless elector.
Winner Take All
There are two states—Nebraska and Maine—whose electoral votes are not apportioned according to the winner-take-all system. The Nebraska legislature defeated a bill in April that would have ended the practice of apportioning its electors based on the popular vote in each congressional district. Maine’s law provides for two at-large electors and one elector from each congressional district.
Click here to see resources in the Coleman Karesh Law Library relating to the Electoral College.
It’s impossible not to have heard about the upcoming presidential election. However, law students who recently moved to South Carolina might not yet be registered to vote here or know the state’s requirements regarding the voting process.
The South Carolina Election Commission offers online and in-person voter registration. If a voter is unsure whether they may already be registered, they should first check their voter registration online. The deadline to register to vote in the 2016 general election is October 8.
Personalized Voter Information
To confirm where to vote in person on November 8, a registered SC voter can input their county, name, and date of birth and get the address of the precinct where they vote. The same online form also shows which districts the voter lives in. By clicking on “View Sample Ballot,” the voter can see the names of all candidates as they will appear on the ballot in applicable congressional, state, and local races.
Poll workers request a photo ID before someone votes in person in South Carolina. However, those who cannot produce photo ID may vote a provisional ballot. In order for the provisional ballot to count, the voter must either show photo ID to the election commission before the election is certified (usually two or three days after the election); or bring a non-photo voter registration card to the polls and sign an affidavit as to the “reasonable impediment” preventing the voter from getting a photo ID. See further details in the image below, or on scvotes.org. The relevant election law is codified at South Carolina Code Section 7-13-710.