Elections/

SC changes voter registration requirements to expand voter opportunity, deter ID theft

Elections

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WBTW) – South Carolina is one of three states that required a full Social Security number to register to vote.

Last week Democratic Party leaders and South Carolina officials agreed to remove the requirement, and opted for the last four digits instead.

The agreement comes after Democratic Party leaders filed a lawsuit against the state in November 2019, and was dismissed after the agreement was made.

In their original complaint, Democrats said requiring full Social Security numbers stood in the way of many potential voters.

The complaint said voters were less likely to participate in events such as voter drives because they were worried about possible identity theft.

Democratic officials also said volunteers who register voters open themselves up to legal trouble by collecting full Social Security numbers.

The Horry County Voter Registration and Elections Office says they are waiting for instruction from the state on what to do next.

“We’re aware of the ruling, but until the order is signed we will continue on as we have in the past. As soon as it’s signed we will receive guidance from the State Election Commission on how to proceed,” said Sandy Martin, Director of Voter Registrations and Elections.

While the order was passed, state and local officials are waiting for a judge to sign it.

The last day to register to vote in the February 29 primary elections is approaching.

“The deadline to register in the Democrat PPP will be January the 30th,” said Martin.

Voters can register online or at local offices.

“You can register at any library or Chamber of Commerce office on the beach and some state offices,” said Martin.

Martin adds that many voters in Horry County have not used the new statewide voting system yet. Learn how to use the voting system here.

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