October 3, 2012 Columbia, SC - With just four days to go, and therefore almost a useless service, the S.C. State Election Commission put out a press release announcing the launching of one of the nation's first paperless online voter registration systems.
"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, executive director of the State Election Commission. "There's no waiting in line, no forms to print out, nothing to mail in. Any eligible person can register in just minutes."
Citizens must register to vote by Saturday, October 6, in order to vote on November 6, and online registration is available now to expedite the process.
Any eligible South Carolinian with a driver's license or identification card issued by the S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV) can register at scVOTES.org. After completing an online form, the information is verified instantly using existing data on file with SCDMV. Once the county voter registration office reviews the application, the voter receives a voter registration card in the mail within a few days.
In the 1990s, South Carolina became the first state in the country to make its voter registration form available online and is now one of only 13 states to have paperless, online voter registration. Until now, voters were required to download the form, complete it by hand and attach a copy of a current valid photo ID or a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck or other government document showing name and address. Those documents then needed to be sent to the county voter registration and elections office.
"It was a cumbersome process where something as simple as transposing a number on an envelope could result in a lost registration form," Andino said. "Now, South Carolinians can complete one simple form and it's automatically sent to the proper county office."
Not only is online voter registration a convenience for voters, the system will greatly enhance the integrity and accuracy of the voter registration rolls, make voters' personal information more secure, and save county voter registration offices time and money.
South Carolina residents can continue to register in person at county voter registration and elections offices, by using the mail-in form, and at the SCDMV. Many community organizations will also continue to sponsor voter registration drives.
To register to vote or to find out more information about voting in South Carolina, visit www.SCVotes.org.