Federal Court Approves S.C. Photo ID Law for 2013

** New Rules Not in Effect for 2012 General Election  **

COLUMBIA, S.C. (October 3, 2012) – The United States District Court for the District of Columbia today gave its approval to a new law requiring South Carolina voters to present a government-issued identification card with a photo in order to vote. Under the Court’s order, the law will go into effect for elections held on or after January 1, 2013.

The new Photo ID provisions will not be in effect for the November 6, 2012, General Election.

For the rest of this year including the 2012 General Election, voters must continue to provide one of the following forms of ID to vote in person:

  • S.C. Driver’s License
  • S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) ID Card
  • S.C. Voter Registration Card

Beginning in 2013, voters will have to provide one of the following current and valid forms of photo ID to vote in person:

  • S.C. Driver’s License
  • S.C. DMV ID Card *
  • S.C. Voter Registration Card with photo**
  • Federal Military ID with photo
  • U.S. Passport

* Now available free of charge from DMV for persons age 17 and older

** Available before the end of the year.

The photo ID law contains exceptions for voters who have a religious objection to being photographed and for voters who have a reasonable impediment to obtaining photo ID.  Voters claiming a religious objection or reasonable impediment must complete an affidavit provided to them at their polling place before voting.

The rules for registering to vote will not change.  Click here to learn how to register to vote.

The State Election Commission and county voter registration and election offices are preparing now to implement the law in 2013.  Voter registration cards containing a photograph will be available to voters before the end of the year, and election officials will be conducting an extensive voter education campaign in the coming months to help ensure every South Carolina voter is aware of the new requirements.

For updates on the status of implementation of photo ID requirements, visit PickensElections.org.

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