South Carolina

Do You Need an ID? (Expansive)

Yes. South Carolina passed a voter ID bill in 2011, but was unable to implement the law because the Justice Department determined it was discriminatory. In 2012, a court approved the law after South Carolina said that voters without ID would still be able to cast ballots. Now, voters must show a state or federal photo ID, which could include a free voter photo ID from the state.

A voter who forgets his ID may cast a provisional ballot, which will be counted if he returns to show ID before the election is certified, usually the Thursday or Friday after the election. A voter who is unable to obtain a photo ID but has a voter registration card can vote using a provisional ballot after signing an affidavit stating he has a "reasonable impediment" to obtaining a photo ID, such as a lack of a birth certificate, transportation or a work schedule conflict. The ballot will then be counted, unless someone can prove the voter is lying about her identity or her excuse.

Do You Need an Excuse to Vote Absentee? (Restrictive)

Voters must provide an excuse to mail in an absentee ballot.

What if You Have a Felony Conviction? (Restrictive)

Felons are prohibited from voting while in prison, on parole and probation. Also, those serving time for misdemeanors cannot vote while incarcerated.

Can You Vote In Person Before Election Day? (Most restrictive)

No early voting.



Absentee Voting Gets Easier

Nearly 17 percent of the U.S. electorate voted by mail in 2012

Voting Early More Often

36 states allow people to vote in person before Election Day

Who Loses the Right to Vote

All but two states have laws that keep felons from voting

Voter ID Laws Gain Momentum

But many are also being challenged in court

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Voting discrimination persists nationwide, but the worst offenders today are still southern states with a history of blocking minorities' access to the ballot, according to a new study by the National Commission on Voting Rights.

New Voter ID Laws Hit Setbacks

Courts are pushing back against laws in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Shelby decision. Several legal battles are still ahead.