NEWBERRY COUNTY — The Newberry County Voter Registration and Election office will hold an information session at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Prosperity Town Hall to help the public understand what they will need to show when voting. The law changed Jan. 1.
Here’s a look at the new rules:
• The photo ID must be valid — in effect or not suspended — and current.
• The purpose of the ID is to confirm that the person representing himself or herself to vote is the elector on the poll list.
• The address on the ID does not have to match the address where registered if the ID is otherwise valid.
• The new list of qualifying photo IDs include any of the following: S.C. driver’s license, S.C. ID card issued by DMV, S.C. voter registration card with photo, military ID issued by the federal government or a U.S. Passport.
Previously, voters only had three options for a valid ID.
Voters can request duplicate voter registration cards at any time from their county voter registration office. Voters with a photograph on file can request any of the three types of voter registration cards: paper card without a photo, paper card with a photo and plastic card with photo. Voters without a photograph on file can only request the paper voter registration card without a photograph.
To register to vote, a resident must have a current valid photo ID or a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck or other government document that shows your name and address in the county in which they are registering.
Voters registering by mail, fax or email will receive a paper voter registration card without a photo by mail. This serves as the notification of registration, and alone will not allow a person to vote. The voter will need to provide one of five qualifying photo IDs to vote.
Voters with a driver’s license or DMV-issued ID card can register online at www.scvotes.org. Voters will be sent a paper voter registration card without a photo in the mail.
Voters who register in person at the county voter registration office and submit a registration application have the option of obtaining a photo voter registration card. A voter who chooses not to obtain a photo registration card must have one of the other four types of ID to vote.
The majority of voters present their driver’s license when voting and will not notice any changes. Those who previously only used their voter registration card without a photo will need to bring a qualifying photo ID.
A voter who has a reasonable impediment to obtaining one of the qualifying photo IDs can cast a provisional ballot after providing a paper voter registration card without a photograph and signing an affidavit attesting to voter’s identity and impediment.
According to the Attorney General, a reasonable impediment is any valid reason, beyond the voter’s control, that created an obstacle to the voter obtaining the necessary photo ID to vote.
A voter can claim any obstacle he finds reasonable as long as it is true. Only the voter determines what is reasonable. Poll managers and other election officials do not determine the reasonableness of the claimed impediment.
Examples of reasonable impediments could include religious objection to being photographed, lack of transportation, disability or illness, lack of birth certificate, work schedule, family responsibilities, other reasonable impediment (protected) and other reasonable impediment (must list).
A ballot will count unless county election commission has grounds to believe affidavit is false. The election commission would have to have proof that the voter either lied about his identity or lied about having a reasonable impediment.
If you do not have a reasonable impediment and don’t have a qualifying photo ID, you can still vote a provisional ballot at the polls. However, for your vote to count, you must provide one of the qualifying IDs to the county election commission prior to certification of the election (usually Thursday or Friday after the election).