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TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 7-5-275 SO AS TO REQUIRE THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, THE STATE ELECTION COMMISSION, AND THE COUNTY BOARDS OF VOTER REGISTRATION AND ELECTIONS TO ENSURE THAT A HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT SEVENTEEN YEARS OF AGE HAS COMPLETED A VOTER REGISTRATION FORM AND RECEIVED INSTRUCTION IN A CLASSROOM ENVIRONMENT OR THROUGH A METHOD APPROVED BY THE LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICT REGARDING THE IMPORTANCE OF VOTING, TO ALLOW A STUDENT TO OPT OUT OF THE PROCESS, AND TO REQUIRE A HIGH SCHOOL REGISTRANT RECEIVE A VOTER REGISTRATION CARD BEFORE THE FIRST ELECTION IN WHICH HE IS ELIGIBLE TO VOTE.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Article 3, Chapter 5, Title 7 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 7-5-275. (A) The State Department of Education, the State Election Commission, and the county boards of voter registration and elections shall ensure that all high school students seventeen years of age have completed a voter registration form. The high school shall submit the form to the appropriate registration office.
(B) A student may opt out of the voter registration process for religious or philosophical reasons.
(C) All students, through their social studies, civics classes, or a manner decided by the local school board, shall have the opportunity to discuss the importance of registering to vote and voting.
(D) A registrant must be mailed a voter registration card before the first election in which he is eligible to vote. Each registrant must be added to the list of voters in his precinct and on the master list of registered voters."
SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
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