VRM in the States: South Carolina

February 1, 2017

Advances in Voter Registration Modernization

  • Electronic Voter Registration: South Carolina launched electronic voter registration at DMV offices in 1995, but registrations require paper signatures for completion. DMV clerks enter voters’ vocal responses electronically, and voter registration information is transferred weekly to election officials. A paper form with the applicant’s signature is also mailed to officials.
  • Online Voter Registration: South Carolina launched online voter registration through the South Carolina Election Commission in 2012. Eligible citizens with a state driver’s license or non-driver ID can use the system to register to vote.
  • Electronic Pollbooks: Thirty-five out of 46 South Carolina counties used electronic pollbooks to sign in voters in 2014.

Gains from Voter Registration Modernization in South Carolina   

The steps South Carolina has taken thus far have yielded increases in voter registration and financial benefits for the state. For example:  

  • During an April 2013 interview with Brennan Center staff, South Carolina election officials reported reduced staff time spent processing registration forms due to online registration.
  • South Carolina implemented online registration at a cost of approximately $130,000.
  • Between November 2012 and November 2014, 5.2% of all new voter registration applications were received online.