Faced with paying to replace five elected officials, and eying a State House corruption probe that could kick out more, the S.C. State Election Commission has decided it needs more cash. The office that runs S.C. elections is seeking permission from state lawmakers to dip into two pots of state money — roughly $255,000 — left over from other election programs. The rare request comes because of concerns about the volume of special elections the commission must bankroll this year. “You never know how many you’re going to have,” Election Commission spokesman Chris Whitmire said. “Someone could die. Someone could be convicted or resign. That’s out of our control.
Articles about voting issues in South Carolina.
The S.C. State Election Commission plan to maintain its more than 12,000 voting machines would cost up to $8.8 million. Refreshing the machines would include installing new touch screens, purchasing new batteries, adding new wheels and replacing communication packs. Optical scans that read ballots would also be replaced under the plan. Spartanburg County Registration and Elections Director Henry Laye told area lawmakers on Monday that poll workers have noticed in the past few elections that people have had to punch the screens particularly hard or particularly lightly to get them to work properly.
While voters in North Carolina and Georgia have already started early voting, those in South Carolina can vote now only if they meet one of 15 reasons to vote absentee. But South Carolina lawmakers say they’ll file bills next year to allow early voting in the state. 35 states and the District of Columbia allow no-excuse early voting. Three more states–Colorado, Oregon, and Washington–do all their voting by mail, which eliminates the need for early voting. South Carolina is one of six states with in-person absentee voting, but voters have to meet one of the requirements to vote absentee, like being 65 or older, physically disabled, or unable to vote on Election Day because of work obligations. Mary Mosley voted in-person absentee Tuesday in Columbia because she’s over 65. She hopes lawmakers will pass early voting. “I believe you could get more people to vote if they could come in just any time and vote, instead of having to stand in line for a long time,” she says.
South Carolina: Planning to write-in a vote for president? Think again, South Carolina voters | The Herald
Maybe lawmakers generations ago saw the election of 2016 coming. Maybe they didn’t want to count cartoon characters or dead folks when sorting out candidates for the top job in the country. For whatever reason, they made sure South Carolina voters won’t be straying too far from the pack on election day. Title 7 – Elections, Chapter 13 in South Carolina reads like a phone book. About halfway down is one of the shorter voting rules, but one that could surprise a voter on Nov. 8. It states: “The ballots shall also contain a place for voters to write in the name of any other person for whom they wish to vote, except on ballots for the election of the president and vice President.” So all those next day reports of odd write-in votes nationwide won’t happen in South Carolina. “It varies by state law,” said Wanda Hemphill, registration and elections director for York County.
Students from Furman University will soon learn whether or not they can register to vote in Greenville County. Thursday, a judge heard arguments on a lawsuit claiming they were blocked from registering using their university address. “I hope that we will get a verdict quickly so we will be able to register as many people as possible in the next 36 hours,” said plaintiff, Katherine West. The clock ticks down on voter registration deadline, but for the Furman sophomore, she tried mailing in her Greenville County application more than a month ago. She says she was sent a questionnaire instead of her registration card. The list of questions is sent to inquiring college students is part of a long standing Greenville County election commission policy to determine if the student is a serious resident of the area. Now, it is at the center of a lawsuit filed against the state and the county election commissions.
South Carolina: Voter registration deadline not extended, still mail-in registrations discrepancies exist | WJBF
We are just a little over a month from Election Day and time is winding down to register to vote. Many voters may not be aware that when you send in that voter registration card could be the deciding factor, when it comes to whether a vote is counted. Federal law requires all mailed-in voter registration forms to be in 30 days before Election Day and that falls on a Sunday this year. That following Monday is Columbus Day, so many states have extended the voter registration deadline, but that’s not the case in South Carolina. South Carolina has made it simple for people to register to vote. More than 100,000 Aiken County residents have signed-up in person, online, or by mail.
Legislation that would have created early voting in South Carolina died in the Statehouse this past year, but several Republicans and Democrats say one such proposal could gain traction next year. A House bill that would let voters head to the polls 15 days before primaries and general elections was supported by eight Republicans and seven Democrats as well as state party leaders. Passing such a bill would put the state in line with neighboring Georgia and North Carolina, both of which have early voting. Currently, if South Carolina voters wish to vote before Election Day they need to cite one of 16 reasons, such as work or vacation, in order to vote by absentee ballot, either through the mail or in person at their county election commission office.
A USC Computer Science professor says South Carolina’s voter registration system and voting machines are vulnerable to hackers. Dr. Duncan Buell says South Carolina’s registration system is a possible target since it’s online. The FBI recently announced that Russian hackers had targeted the voter registration systems in Illinois and Arizona, with a hacker actually stealing the personal information of up to 200,000 voters in Illinois. The South Carolina State Election Commission says the voter registration system could be hacked, since it is online and anything online is vulnerable, but it has its own in-house computer security experts and works with vendors and the state’s computer security agency to protect the system. The Election Commission says the actual voting machines are much less vulnerable because they’re never connected to the internet or to each other. That doesn’t make them 100 percent safe, but it does lessen the chances of being hacked.
South Carolina: GOP rejects proposed changes to South Carolina’s first-in-the-South primary | The State
South Carolina and other early-voting Republican primary states have staved off efforts to weaken their influence in picking GOP presidential nominees. But GOP officials did agree to study the primary lineup sometime before the 2020 election cycle. South Carolina now goes third overall in that lineup — behind Iowa and New Hampshire — and first in the South. “We look safe for now,” said S.C. GOP chairman Matt Moore, a member of the Rules Committee, where the party’s primary system was discussed last week.
Trump’s announcement that he no longer stands by a pledge to support the GOP has thrown his hold on South Carolina’s 50 delegates in doubt. The Palmetto State was one of several that required candidates to pledge their loyalty to the party’s eventual nominee in order to secure a slot on the primary ballot. Though Trump won all of the state’s delegates in the Feb. 20 primary, anti-Trump forces are plotting to contest their binding to Trump because of his threat on the pledge Tuesday. The loyalty pledge is nothing new in South Carolina, where it has been required for decades, but took on new focus in light of Trump’s public musings about a third-party run or withdrawing his support from the eventual nominee if he is stopped at a contested convention.