Voter Identification 2018
All voters are required to present
photo identification at the polls in South Carolina. This includes a state driver's license, an identification card, a voter registration card that includes a photo, a federal military ID or a U.S.
passport. A voter can receive a free photo ID from his or her county voter registration office by providing his or her name, date of birth and the last four digits of his or her Social Security
South Carolina’s photo identification law was first
submitted for pre-clearance to the United States Department of Justice in 2011 and was denied. Though the state applied for reconsideration, it was again denied pre-clearance on June 29,
2012. South Carolina then took the law to court, and in October 2012, a panel of federal judges blocked the law for the 2012 general election. The judges ruled that, given the short time
remaining before the election, the law put a burden on minority voters that violated the Voting Rights Act. However, the judges also said there was nothing inherently discriminatory about
the law and that it could be utilized in elections after 2012. South Carolina’s photo ID law took effect January 1, 2013.
As of June 29, 2018, 34 states enforced (or were
scheduled to begin enforcing) voter identification requirements. A total of 17 states required voters to present photo identification, while 17 accepted other forms of identification. In some
states, a voter who is unable to present valid identification may still be permitted to vote without casting a provisional ballot; this is known as a non-strict requirement. In 10 of the 17 states
that require a photo ID, the requirement is non-strict. In 14 of the 17 states that require non-photo identification, the requirement is non-strict. In the remaining states, voters without valid
forms of identification are required to cast provisional ballots; this is known as a strict requirement. Valid forms of identification differ by state. Commonly accepted forms of ID include driver's
licenses, state-issued identification cards, and military identification cards.