Today, LDF submitted testimony to the South Carolina House Judiciary Committee expressing opposition to H. 4150, and support of H. 3822. While H. 4150 would create early voting, it would allocate voting locations through an inadequate and discriminatory formula. H. 4150 would severely restrict absentee voting eligibility, and prohibit Souls to the Polls events organized by Black churches to provide transportation to the polls and increase voter turnout. H. 3822, which LDF supports, would permanently open “in-person absentee voting” and absentee voting by mail to all registered voters; require the Department of Corrections to provide information to formerly incarcerated individuals on the process to regain voting rights; allow for student IDs to be used as voter identification; remove the witness requirement for absentee voting; allow for same-day voter registration during the absentee-in-person period; and require counties to allow voters to cure absentee ballots that are rejected due to errors or omissions. LDF Redistricting Counsel Michael Pernick will be testifying live in the hearing on both bills today.
H. 4150’s unequal allocation of early voting locations, and needless, discriminatory cuts in absentee-voting eligibility would disproportionately burden Black voters in South Carolina and create barriers to the ballot box. By contrast, H. 3822 would expand access to voting and its reforms would benefit all South Carolina voters. Read our testimony here.