South Carolina’s online voter registration law has won federal approval, allowing just a few days for people to use the easier option to sign up to vote Nov. 6. The U.S. Justice Department waited until its deadline to act on the state law signed in June. Under the 1965 Voting Rights Act, South Carolina must receive the federal agency’s approval for any election law change. The law, passed unanimously by the Legislature, removes several steps from the paper registration process. Supporters say the online option will help voters, improve the accuracy of voter rolls and save money. South Carolina is the 13th state to implement online voter registration. The system was available by Tuesday afternoon through a link on the state Election Commission Web site. People who want to vote Nov. 6 can register through Saturday. State law requires registration at least 31 days before an election.
“South Carolina has made important improvements to our registration and elections process in the last decade, and we are proud to announce one of the single most important changes to the process is now a reality,” said Marci Andino, the executive director of the State Election Commission. The online system requires a driver’s license or Department of Motor Vehicles identification card number because information is checked through the DMV database. Voters can receive their registration card in the mail in as little as a day, Whitmire said. The online registration law is separate from the voter ID law that the Justice Department has blocked.