Great work by the South Carolina state legislature to get an election bill passed earlier this week. I believed it passed unanimously in both the SC House & Senate, receiving support across the aisle.
Here are some notable changes for our upcoming elections:
✔️ NEW THIS YEAR: South Carolina will now have two (2) weeks of in-person early voting. You don’t need any special reason to vote early in-person. To cast your ballot early, just bring your photo ID to your county’s election office or other designated in-person early voting location. You’ll be able to find early voting locations, dates, and times for your county at scVOTES.gov.
✔️ Second, South Carolina will still permit “absentee by mail” voting. HOWEVER, you must meet certain qualifications. Among those who may qualify for voting absentee by mail in South Carolina are voters with disabilities, those 65 and older, members of the Armed Forces, voters who are hospitalized for a certain period of time prior to the election, and a few other reasons pertaining to individuals who are unable to vote in-person, either on Election Day or through early in-person voting. You’ll be able to find out more at scVOTES.gov.
✔️ Third, this bill prohibits the State Election Commission and all the various counties elections boards from receiving contributions or other "gifts" from outside persons or organizations. They must operate using public funds appropriated from the state or county, not from money given by Mark Zuckerberg, or the "Center for Tech and Civic Life", etc.
✔️ This state bill also makes voter fraud a felony in South Carolina. Plus it jacked up penalties for people who attempt to vote more than once, those who attempt to vote under someone else’s name, or those who intentionally break our state’s election laws.
There several other good provisions in this bill as well. Overall it's a big win for our state.
There have been a number of liberal-led efforts in Congress to federalize elections to varying degrees, all of which would have made voting less secure. But the U.S. Constitution is clear: states should handle their own elections, and this bill makes it clear that South Carolina takes that responsibility seriously.