SOUTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF MENTAL HEALTH
Columbia, S. C.
|OFFICE OF THE STATE DIRECTOR OF MENTAL HEALTH||DIRECTIVE NO.798-96|
TO: All Organizational Components
SUBJECT: National Voter Registration Act 1993
It is the purpose of this directive to publicize the law requiring SCDMH and certain other state agencies to offer Voter Registration services. This directive also establishes methods of implementation, data reporting, and monitoring procedures required by the National Voters Registration Act of 1993.
It is the policy of the Department of Mental Health to actively support and be in full compliance with the National Voters Registration Act of 1993, S.C. State law and to recognize the client's right to engage in the political process and to facilitate voter registration services.
A. Each inpatient facility and outpatient center and satellite will
designate staff to carry out requirements of the Act and receive
training by the State Election Commission to provide Voter
Registration services to clients.
B. The designated staff person (s) will make voter registration forms
and certain required information available to clients entering the
system who desire to register. In the event a client is in crisis to
such an extent they are unable to make reasonable decisions
regarding voter registration, documentation that the crisis
condition precluded voter registration would be made in the
client's medical record. Registration forms would then be
offered at such time as the person is no longer in crisis and is
able to make reasonable decisions regarding voter registration.
C . The designated staff person (s) will provide assistance in
completing Voter Registration application forms unless such
assistance is refused.
D. The designated staff person (s) will accept and transmit
completed Voter Registration application forms to the
County Voter Registration Office within 5 days of acceptance.
E. A person who provides the services as described above shall
(1) seek to influence an applicant's political preference or
(2) display any such political preference or party
(3) make any statement to an applicant or take any action
the purpose or effect of which is to discourage the
applicant from registering to vote; or
(4) take any statement to an applicant or take any action
the purpose or effect of which is to lead the applicant
to believe that a decision to register or not to register
has any bearing on the availability of services or
F. Declinations to register to vote must be made by the applicant
in writing on a form supplied by the Election Commission and
filed in the clients Medical Record.
G. Complaints regarding Voters Registration must be reported as
indicated by forms supplied by the Election Commission.
H. The same degree of assistance in completing forms must be given
Voters Registration forms as DMH forms. Necessary provisions
will be made for the blind and hearing impaired.
I . No information relating to Voters Registration or declination
thereof may be used for any other purpose.
J. SCDMH Data Processing will collect data pertaining to the voter
registration process and will periodically transmit such legally
permitted data to the State Election Commission in computerized
This is the first directive on this subject.
John A. Morris, MSW
Interim State Director of Mental Health
July 16, 1996