Judge Robin Stilwell granted a temporary injunction to two Furman University students who had tried to register to vote in Greenville County using their university residence halls as their address, saying that not issuing the students relief from the county’s policy would cause irreparable harm to the students by denying their right to vote in the 2016 General Election.
Whether the county continues to fight the decision in court will be up to the voter registration board.
The ACLU of SC filed suit in Greenville County on behalf of three Furman students. At issue is the registration of on-campus students in that county. That county responds to the receipt of the standard registration form by mailing out a letter asking students to prove residency. There is no statutory authority for this extra inquiry. Website of the State Board of Elections contains this statement: "Students may register to vote where they reside while attending college."
Despite the clear guidance by the State Board, Conway Belangia, the director of the Greenville Board of Voter Registration and Elections, has been open about the fact that he does not believe that on-campus students can declare their campus residences to be their legal residences. He has discouraged voter registration campaigns on campus. Registration for the November election closes on October 8. The hearing on our motion for a preliminary injunction is October 6th in the court of Common Pleas in Greenville. We are cutting it close, but should have a decision in time to protect the right to vote for all eligible students.