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TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 7-13-25 SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT THE AUTHORITY CHARGED BY LAW CONDUCTING AN ELECTION SHALL ESTABLISH EARLY VOTING CENTERS, TO ESTABLISH EARLY VOTING CENTERS TO ALLOW A REGISTERED COUNTY RESIDENT TO VOTE OUTSIDE THEIR PRECINCT, TO PROVIDE A PROCEDURE BY WHICH A QUALIFIED ELECTOR MAY REGISTER TO VOTE AND CAST A BALLOT DURING THE EARLY VOTING PERIOD, TO PROVIDE FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF EARLY VOTING LOCATIONS, AND TO REQUIRE THESE LOCATIONS AND TIMES TO BE IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 30-4-80.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Article 1, Chapter 13, Title 7 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 7-13-25. (A) Notwithstanding the provision of this chapter or Chapter 5 of this title, the authority charged by law with conducting an election shall establish a procedure by which a qualified elector may register to vote and cast his ballot, without excuse, during an early voting period. The qualified elector may accomplish this at a voting place, in his county of residence, that is established as an early voting center by the county boards of election.
(B) Early voting centers shall allow duly registered voters of that county to vote outside their precinct.
(C) Early voting centers must be established and maintained to ensure that voters may cast only one ballot.
(D) A qualified elector, who is registered, may cast his ballot at an early voting center established by the county boards of election.
(E) Each county board of elections shall establish a minimum of one early voting center.
(F) The early voting period begins fifteen days before the statewide primary or general election and ends three days before it.
(G) A qualified elector must be able to register, in person, and vote at his county's early voting center during all hours of operation.
(H) The county boards of election shall determine the locations and hours of operation for early voting centers. These locations and hours of operation for the early voting centers must be posted pursuant to the provisions of Section 30-4-80.
(I) A sign must be posted prominently in an early voting center and must have printed on it 'VOTING MORE THAN ONCE IS A CRIME THAT WILL BE CAUGHT AND PROSECUTED'.
(J) All diligence must be given in locating early voting centers to ensure convenient and accessible facilities in which to vote."
SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
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