Truth vs. Myth – 2012 General Election

The following are some common myths that are circulated prior to general elections:


Myth:  The new photo ID law is in effect, and if you don’t have one, you can’t vote.

TruthThe new photo ID law will NOT be in effect on November 6th.  To vote on November 6th, you must have a S.C. Driver’s License, a S.C. DMV ID card, or a voter registration card.  The new photo ID rules won’t take effect until January 1, 2013.  Even then, there are safeguards in place that allow any voter to vote on Election Day, whether they have a photo ID or not.  For more on the new photo ID law, visit PickensElections.org.


Myth:  South Carolina has “early voting,” meaning anyone can vote early for any reason.

TruthSouth Carolina has “absentee voting.”  You must meet one of 17 reasons for voting absentee.  To vote absentee in person, visit your county voter registration and election office.  To vote absentee by mail you need to apply first.  Call our office to have one mailed to you, or download your application at PickensElections.org.


Myth:  Straight party voting does not apply to President.  You must vote for President first before voting straight party, or your vote for President won’t count.

Truth: Straight party voting applies to President and all other partisan offices on the ballot.  It is not necessary to select President first.  It will be very clear on the voting machine when your choice for President is selected.  The names will be checked and highlighted.  You can also verify your selection on the review screen at the end of your ballot.


Myth: Absentee votes don’t count unless the election is really close.

Truth: Every vote matters, and every vote counts.  Absentee ballots are usually the first votes counted on Election Day.


Myth:  If you go to the polls wearing a t-shirt supporting your candidate, you won’t be allowed to vote.

Truth:  It is true that the display of campaign material is not allowed within 200 feet of any entrance to a polling place on Election Day.  This law applies to posters, pamphlets, brochures, signs, buttons, hats, t-shirts, etc.  Voters with campaign material will not be turned away, but will be asked to remove the material, cover the material, or otherwise cause the material not to be seen before being allowed to vote.


Myth:  Due to so many people voting and long lines, the election is being extended until Wednesday.

TruthThere are no Election Day extensions.  Election Day is November 6th, 2012.  Polling places will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.  If you are in line at 7:00 p.m., you will be allowed to vote.


Myth:  I can’t vote because I’m disabled and need assistance.

Truth:  Voters with disabilities and voters who are unable to read or write may vote and may request assistance in the voting booth.    If you need assistance in marking your ballot, ask the poll manager.  You can choose the person you want to assist you as long as they are not your employer or officer of your union or an agent of your employer or union. 


MYTH:     I can’t vote because I will lose my disability check.

TRUTH:    Voting has no effect on a person’s eligibility to receive a disability check.


MYTH:     I can’t vote because I live in a group home.

TRUTH:    If you live in a group home, you can register at that address and vote.


MYTH:     I can’t vote because I am receiving treatment in a hospital.

TRUTH:    Voters who are receiving treatment in a hospital can vote by absentee ballot.  Voters admitted to the hospital as an emergency patient on Election Day or within 4 days of the election can ask a member of the voter’s immediate family to apply and sign the absentee application, receive the ballot and return the ballot.  This will still apply if the voter is released from the hospital on Election Day.


MYTH:     I can’t vote because I don’t have ID.

TRUTH:    Voting in person requires one of the following IDs:  SC Driver’s License, SC DMV ID card, or SC Voter Registration card.  Voting absentee by mail does not require an ID.


MYTH:     I can’t vote because I have a disability.

TRUTH:    Voting in S.C. is accessible to all voters.   Electronic voting machines are portable for wheelchair use and audio ballots are available county precincts.  Curbside voting is also available at every precinct for voters with disabilities.  Absentee voting by mail or in person prior to the election is also an option.


MYTH:     People don’t think I can vote because I have an intellectual disability.

TRUTH:    An intellectual disability does not disqualify you from voting.


MYTH:     I can’t vote because I need assistance.

TRUTH:    Voters with disabilities and voters who are unable to read or write may ask for assistance in the voting booth.    If you need assistance in marking your ballot, ask the poll manager.  You can choose the person you want to assist you as long as they are not your employer, an agent of your employer, an officer of your union, or an agent of your union.              


MYTH:     I can’t vote because I don’t live on my own.

TRUTH:    Living independently is not a requirement to vote.


MYTH:     I can’t vote because I am deaf.

TRUTH:    Being deaf does not disqualify you from voting.  Voters who are deaf can vote at the poll just like everyone else.  Poll managers have printed voting instructions for voters who are deaf that are available upon request.


MYTH:     People with disabilities must always be accompanied by someone to vote.

TRUTH:    Any voter may choose to vote independently.  Requesting assistance is always an option for a voter with a disability.  It’s your choice.


MYTH:     People with disabilities can’t drive, so they can’t vote.

TRUTH:    Driving is not required to vote.  If you lack transportation to the polls, you may always vote absentee by mail.


MYTH:     People with disabilities must vote inside the building.

TRUTH:    Voters with disabilities may vote inside or outside the polling place.  If the voter chooses to vote outside, park in the curbside voting area.


MYTH:     People with disabilities must vote curbside.

TRUTH:    Voters with disabilities may vote inside or outside the polling place.  If the voter chooses to vote outside, park in the curbside voting area.