CoronaVoting Part 1: Registration and Locations
Editors Note: The deadline to register for the June 9 Primary Election is May 9.
By Steve Hamelman
Safe Voting Exists
If you’re reading this, you’re probably a Democrat.
If you’re a Democrat, you’d like to see the defeat, through fair elections, of President Donald Trump, Senator Lindsay Graham, and other Republicans responsible for nearly four years of bad “leadership.”
For this defeat to happen, you have to vote.
And to vote you must first make sure (1) your voter registration is in order, (2) you know the location of your polling station, and (3) you’re aware of the available methods of voting in case you prefer not to vote in person at said polling station.
For regarding number (3), even the most diehard Democrat may feel anxious this time around.
Because of the historic gamechanger known variously as the novel coronavirus, Covid-19, and the global pandemic.
Since this is, in the words of Horry County Democratic Party (HCDP) Chair Don Kohn, “the most consequential election of our lifetime,” we must not let the pandemic keep us from participating in the upcoming primaries and the general election.
A safe way to vote is within the reach of every voter.
Here, in the first of two short articles, the HCDP explains the options available to everyone (including Independents and fed-up Republicans) burning to cast a ballot for a Democratic candidate in the federal, state, county, and municipal primaries held on June 9, and in the general election on November 3, 2020.
This piece focuses on registration; the next article will focus on absentee voting.
Quickly Approaching Deadline
If you’re eligible to vote, you must register or confirm that you’re currently registered, and you should do so sooner rather than later.
This is because, to quote the South Carolina Election Commission (SCEC), “in order to vote, South Carolina law requires one must first register to vote at least 30 days prior to the election.”
To repeat: the next election is June 9, 2020.
All aspects of the registration process are found at the SCEC’s website: scvotes.org.
This indispensable resource has links to Voter Request Information, where voters can check their registration status, confirm their address, and determine their precinct and the location of their polling station.
South Carolina allows three ways to register:
1. Online Mail
2. Mail, email, or fax
3. In person
Similarly, there are three ways to vote:
2. In-Person Absentee
3. Mail- In Absentee
These options make it possible for voters to do their civic duty without putting their health at risk. If you wish to vote, there is little to prevent you from exercising that right.
To vote either in person at your designated polling station or in person-absentee at your appointed government building, you need to present one photo I.D. from this list:
– Valid South Carolina driver’s license (either a standard license or a REAL I.D. acquired through the Department of Motor Vehicles)
– SC Department of Motor Vehicles I.D. card
– SC Concealed Weapons Permit
– SC Voter Registration Card with Photo (paper or card)
– Federal Military I.D. (all Department of Defense Photo I.D.s and Veterans Affairs Benefits Card)
– U.S. Passport or U.S. Passport Card
When you check in at your polling place, the address on your I.D. has to match the address on the voting roll.
Note well: The location may not be where you’ve previously voted.
Polling stations are subject to sudden closure, consolidation, and/or relocation. As stated by reporter Brittany Gibson in the February 28, 2020 issue of The American Prospect, 131 polling places were relocated statewide for the Democratic primary. Consolidating and closing polling places leaves many voters unsure of where to vote, potentially disenfranchising them.
The Director of Horry County Voter Registration and Elections has indicated there are, or will be changes and/or closures of several polling places throughout Horry County before the June Primary. Additional changes to polling locations have yet to be officially announced. It is best to double-check your precinct location a few days before setting out to vote on June 9. Go to www.scvotes.org and enter the required information under Voters/Check Your Registration.
CoronaVoting Part II, soon to follow, will address in person-absentee voting and by-mail absentee voting. In the interim, take the HCDP’s advice and register posthaste!