The deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 6 midterm elections has been extended by more than a week, which means voters now have until Wed. Oct. 17 to register to vote.
On Tuesday morning, Richland County Judge Robert E. Hood granted a temporary injunction to S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson, whose office filed a lawsuit against the State Election Commission last week arguing that the impact of Hurricane Florence disrupted some people's ability to register in time.
The lawsuit argued that state offices were closed in 26 counties beginning on Sept. 11 to make way for shelter and evacuation efforts, and that flood states in certain areas were expected to continue into October.
"The State Election Commission has received correspondence from several
groups and a county board on behalf of voters expressing concern about the impact of
Hurricane Florence and ongoing flooding problems on the abilities of many eligible
South Carolina residents to register to vote by these deadlines," the lawsuit read.
House Oversight and Reform Committee
S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson
Previously, voters had until this Friday to register in person and until Sunday to register online. Mailed in voter reg forms had to be postmarked by Tues. Oct. 9, four weeks before Election Day.
Thanks to Hood's order, which was consented to by Election Commission Executive Director Marci Andino, eligible voters can now register to vote up to Oct. 17. South Carolinians may register in person at their county voter registration offices
; via fax, mail, or email; or online at SCvotes.org
if they have a valid S.C. driver's license.
Mailed voter registration forms must now be postmarked by Oct. 17.
"The granting of a temporary injunction is consistent with the preservation of the right to vote, the Executive Director’s general authority to ensure that voter registration complies with “applicable state or federal law” (§7-3-20) and the authority of this Court to suspend by equitable tolling the running of the current registration deadline," Judge Hood wrote.
You can check your voter registration status at SCvotes.org.
"The 10-day extension was necessary to protect the voting rights of South Carolina residents due to the widespread impact of Hurricane Florence," the SEC wrote
of the extension. "Many citizens have been displaced and are struggling to recover, and many county voter registration offices were closed for considerable periods of time."
See related PDF
Richland County Court of Common Pleas