The ACLU of South Carolina, a non-partisan organization, believes that no civil right is more important than the right to vote. All registered voters should be encouraged to vote. No one should be deterred from voting by incomplete or inaccurate information. Registered voters need to know that they can vote even without an approved form of photo ID.

The primary election on Tuesday June 10 will be the first state-wide test of the new Voter ID law. All South Carolina voters will be asked to provide one of the following types of current, valid photo ID at the polling place:

S.C. Driver’s License
S.C. DMV Identification Card
S.C. Voter Registration Card with a Photo
Federal Military ID
U.S. Passport

A registered voter who does not possess one of those forms of photo ID or who forgets to bring the proper photo ID with him or her to the polls is still allowed to vote. That person will have to vote on a paper ballot rather than on the machine.

A registered voter who does not possess an accepted photo ID must produce a voter registration card at the polls. He or she will be allowed to vote by provisional (paper) ballot, after signing out a form verifying identity and explaining why he or she does not have a photo ID. The reason, for example, could be a religious objection to being photographed, a disability or illness, work schedule, lack of transportation, family responsibilities, lack of a birth certificate or any other obstacle the voter finds reasonable. Those ballots will be counted unless the truthfulness is challenged. The reasonableness of the excuse cannot be questioned. A voter who lacks a Photo ID is not required to appear at the certification hearing in order to have his or her vote counted.

A voter who forgets to bring a photo ID to the polls should leave and return with the photo ID, if practical. If that is not possible, then that voter may vote a provisional (paper) ballot. That ballot will countonly if the voter produces photo ID to the county election office prior to certification of the election. Certification hearings are usually held two days after election day.

Voters can get a free photo ID at their county voter registration office by providing their name, date of birth, and last four digits of their social security number. For more information about S.C.’s Photo ID requirements, visit www.scVOTES.org.

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