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Sponsors: Senator Martin
Document Path: l:\s-jud\bills\martin\jud0124.lam.doc
Introduced in the Senate on February 3, 2004
Currently residing in the Senate Committee on Judiciary
Summary: Electors, registration by mail
HISTORY OF LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS
Date Body Action Description with journal page number ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 2/3/2004 Senate Introduced and read first time SJ-17 2/3/2004 Senate Referred to Committee on Judiciary SJ-17
View the latest legislative information at the LPITS web site
VERSIONS OF THIS BILL
TO AMEND SECTION 7-5-155, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO REGISTRATION OF ELECTORS BY MAIL, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT THE APPLICATION FOR REGISTRATION BY MAIL MUST CONTAIN CERTAIN INFORMATION AS REQUIRED BY THE FEDERAL HELP AMERICA VOTE ACT; AND TO AMEND SECTION 7-5-170. RELATING TO THE WRITTEN APPLICATION FOR REGISTRATION, SO AS TO ADD CERTAIN INFORMATION REQUIRED BY THE HELP AMERICA VOTE ACT.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Section 7-5-155 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
(a)(A) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the following procedures may shall be used in the registration of electors in addition to the procedure otherwise provided by law .:
(1) Subject to the provision of Section 7-5-150, any qualified citizen may register to vote by mailing or having delivered a completed state registration by mail application form or a completed national registration by mail application form prescribed by the Federal Election Commission not later than thirty days before any election to his registration board. The postmark date of a mailed application is considered the date of mailing. If the postmark date is missing or illegible, the county board of voter registration must accept the application if it is received by mail no later than five days after the close of the registration books before any election.
(2) If the registration board determines that the applicant is qualified and
his the application is legible and complete, the registration board shall must mail the voter written notification of approval on a form to be prescribed and provided by the State Election Commission pursuant to Section 7-5-180. When the county board of registration mails the written notification of approval, it must do so without requiring the elector to sign anything in the presence of a member of the board, a deputy member, or a registration clerk, and the attestation of the elector's signature is not required so long as the conditions set forth above are met.
(3) Any application must be rejected for any of the following reasons:
(i) any portion of the application is not complete;
(ii) any portion of the application is illegible in the opinion of a member and the clerk of the board;
(iii) the board is unable to determine, from the address stated on the application, the precinct in which the voter should be assigned or the election districts in which
he the voter is entitled to vote.
(4) Any person whose application is rejected must be notified of the rejection together with the reason for rejection. The applicant must further be informed that he still has a right to register by appearing in person before the board of registration or by submitting the information by mail necessary to correct his rejected application. The form for notifying applicants of rejection must be prescribed and provided by the State Election Commission pursuant to Section 7-5-180.
(b)(B) Every application for registration by mail shall must contain spaces for the home and work telephone numbers of the applicant, and the applicant shall must enter the numbers on the application where applicable. The application must also include the information required by Section 7-5-170(B).
(C) For an applicant who has not, prior to the date of the application, voted in the county in which he is applying for registration, the applicant must submit a copy of one of the following:
(1) a current and valid photo identification card of the applicant; or
(2) one of the following:
(a) a current utility bill which shows the name and current address of the applicant;
(b) a bank statement which shows the name and current address of the applicant;
(c) a check issued to the applicant by a governmental entity which shows the name and current address of the applicant;
(d) a paycheck issued to the applicant which shows the name and current address of the applicant; or
(e) a government document, excluding a voter registration document, on which the applicant's name and address appear.
An applicant who fails to provide the information required by this subsection with an otherwise complete application shall be registered, but shall not be permitted to vote until he or she provides one of the documents described in items (1) and (2) to the poll manager or an official of the county board of voter registration, as appropriate.
(c)(D) The State Election Commission shall must furnish a sufficient number of application forms to the county boards of voter registration and voter registration agencies specified in Section 7-5-310(B) so that distribution of the application forms may be made to various locations throughout the counties and mailed to persons requesting them.
County boards of registration shall distribute application forms to various locations in their respective counties, including city halls and public libraries, where they must be readily available to the public.
(d)(E) The original applications must remain on file in the office of the county board of registration.
(e)(F) The State Election Commission may promulgate regulations to implement the provisions of this section."
SECTION 2. Section 7-5-170 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
(1)(A) Written application required. -- No person may be registered to vote except upon written application which shall become a part of the permanent records of the board to which it is presented and must be open to public inspection.
(2)(B) Form of application. -- The application must be on a form prescribed and provided by the executive director and shall contain the following information:
(4) social security number
(5) date of birth
(6) residence address
(7) mailing address
(8) telephone number of the applicant
(9) location of prior voter registration
(10) the following questions with 'Yes' and 'No' boxes for the applicant to check to indicate the applicant's answer and the following statement after the questions:
(a) 'Are you a citizen of the United States of America?'
(b) 'Will you be 18 years of age on or before election day?'
'If you checked 'No' in response to either of these questions, do not complete this form.'
The applicant must affirm that he is not under a court order declaring him mentally incompetent, confined in any public prison, has never been convicted of a felony or offense against the election laws, or if previously convicted that he has served his entire sentence, including probation and parole time, or has received a pardon for the conviction. Additionally, the applicant must take the following oath: 'I, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I am a citizen of the United States and that on the date of the next ensuing election, I will have attained the age of eighteen years and am a resident of South Carolina, this county, and of my precinct. I further swear (or affirm) that the present residence address listed herein is my sole legal place of residence and that I claim no other place as my legal residence.' Any applicant convicted of fraudulently applying for registration is guilty of perjury and is subject to the penalty for that offense.
(3)(C) Administration of oaths. -- Any member of the registration board, deputy registrar, or any registration clerk must be qualified to administer oaths in connection with the application.
(4)(D) Decisions on applications. -- Any member of the registration board, deputy registrar, or registration clerk may pass on the qualifications of the prospective voter. In case of a question of an applicant being refused registration, at least one member of the board shall must pass on the qualifications of the voter. A concise statement of the reasons for the refusal must be written on the application."
SECTION 3. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
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