In South Carolina, you have the right to the following as protected by federal law. Election staff must respect these rights:
- Accessible voter registration
- Accessible polling places
- Policies and procedures that do not discriminate against you based on your disability
- Accessible, available, and operational voting systems, features
- Your service animal to accompany you inside the polling place
- The right to vote privately and independently or with assistance, if needed
- Assistance from a person of choice, who can be a friend, family member, or poll worker (but not your boss, union agent, or a candidate
unless this person is your family member)
- Election Staff trained to understand the rights above
In South Carolina, you also have the right to:
- Vote if you have a mental disability and the courts have not taken away your right to vote
- Vote with a provisional ballot if someone questions your eligibility to vote
Federal law requires assistance in registering to vote from offices that provide public assistance or state-funded programs serving people with disabilities. Responsibilities include:
- Providing voter registration forms
- Assisting voters in completing the forms
- Transmitting completed forms to the appropriate election official
- All aspects of voter registration must be accessible
- You may request assistance from a poll worker or receive assistance from a person of your choice with the following exceptions:
- your employer, an agent of your employer
- an officer or agent of your union
- a candidate on the ballot
- A poll worker cannot force you to accept assistance
- Poll managers have printed instructions available for voters who are deaf or hard of hearing
- You can use curbside voting as well
You may vote absentee with a valid excuse such as a disability.
You can visit, call or email your county voter registration office as early as January 1 of the election year to request a ballot.
Your immediate family member or authorized helper can assist you with this application.
You can return your ballot application to your county voter registration office by mail or by personal delivery. If you ask someone else to return your ballot for you, you must make this authorization in writing.
Some forms are available in large print. You may also have assistance in filling out your ballot.
Federal law requires polling places to meet minimum compliance standards for individuals with disabilities.
Polling locations should have accessible parking, ramps, pathways, and doors which are clearly marked. Curbside voting is available as well.
The ExpressVote voting machine allows for tabletop placement for wheelchair access. There is a full color touch screen display with zoom functionality and high contrast white-and-black mode. An Audio-Tactile Keypad and Headphone Jack are available as well.
ExpressVote allows for large-print ballots, an audio version of the ballots, and is compatible with sip-and-puff and rocker panel devices.
You have the ability to access a sample ballot and can preview and practice using accessible voting equipment. Contact your local election official for more information.
You can watch this video which explains how to use ExpressVote.
If you are deaf or hard-of-hearing, you can watch this video which explains how to vote in SC with an ASL interpreter and subtitles.
You should talk to a poll worker for assistance with any problems you encounter.
To file a formal complaint about voting accessibility, fill the form, get the form notarized, and mail it to S.C. State Election Commission, P. O. Box 5987 Columbia, SC 29205
- Your complaint will be reviewed to see if it alleges a violation of Title III of HAVA and if it is found to be a violation of Title III, the Executive Director will work with you and your county election officials to determine an informal remedy.
- If agreement on an informal remedy is not reached, then an administrative hearing will happen on the record.
- If your complaint is not resolved within 90 days then it will be referred to the State Election Commission and will be resolved within 60 days.
You can also fill out a Violation of Civil Rights Complaint Form and submit it to the US Department of Justice by one of the following methods:
- Online, through the form’s submission process - this is the fastest method.
- By fax at (202) 616-9881. You MUST include “ATTN: Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Complaints" at the top of your fax submission for it to be processed correctly.
- By mailing your form to:
U.S. Department of Justice
Office of the Inspector General Investigations Division
ATTN: Civil Rights & Civil Liberties Complaints
950 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20530
For additional assistance, The National Network of ADA Centers can provide local contact information for other organizations you may wish to contact, including your Regional ADA Center or ADA Knowledge Translation Center, or Federal Agencies and Resources.
- Voter Registration or Absentee Ballot Request
- Election Dates/Deadlines
- Election Official Directory
- US Vote Foundation's Voter Help Desk
- Department of Justice Civil Rights Violation Complaint Form
- Verified Voter Accessible Voting Machine Search
- South Carolina State Elections Enforcement Commission Complaint Form
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