South Carolina

Help America Vote Act of 2002

State Plan

 

 

September 22, 2003

 

 

 

S. C. State Election Commission

2221 Devine Street, Suite 105
Columbia, SC  29205

 

Marci Andino, Executive Director


Contents

Executive Summary by the Executive Director

Introduction

1. Meeting Title III Requirements and Other Activities

1.1 Current Status

1.2 Voting System Options Considered

1.3 Voting System Standards

1.4 Provisional Voting & Voting Information Requirements

1.5 Computerized Statewide Voter Registration List & Voters Who Register by Mail

2. Payment Distribution and Monitoring

3. Provision for Education and Training

3.1 Training for Election Officials

3.2 Training for Poll Managers

3.3 Training for Voters

3.4 Other Interested Citizens

4. Voting System Guidelines and Processes

5. Fund for Administering State Activities

6. Proposed State Budget

7. Maintenance of Prior Year Expenditures

8. Performance Goals and Measures

9. Administrative Complaint Procedures

10. Use of Title I Payment

11. Ongoing Management of Plan

12. Previous Year Plan

13. Committee


Executive Summary by the Executive Director

I am pleased to offer the South Carolina State Plan for implementing the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA).  This State Plan, developed with the valuable help of the HAVA State Plan Task Force, establishes a framework for achieving compliance with HAVA.

The new federal law requires each state to develop a long-range State Plan for HAVA implementation and provides funding to assist the state in implementation.  The South Carolina State Plan provides a description of current election procedures and outlines how South Carolina will meet the new requirements mandated by HAVA.  The State Plan will be updated and refined as necessary over time, to reflect election law changes and future plans.

The State Plan reflects strategic objectives of great importance to every voter in South Carolina: implementation of a statewide uniform electronic voting system, support for disabled voters in every precinct in the State, enhancements to election administration, and training for voters, poll workers, and election officials.  Building on current capabilities, the goal is to offer a higher level of service with increased ease of use, convenience, and consistency in every precinct across the State.

The South Carolina State Plan will be accomplished over the next four years, utilizing approximately $48.5 Million in funding.  It will draw on the combined efforts of state and county organizations and affect every voter in South Carolina.  The long-term impact of HAVA will be felt throughout the State for many elections to come. 

The State Election Commission (SEC) recognizes the value of HAVA to South Carolina and is committed to successful implementation of all elements of the State Plan.  With this State Plan, the SEC has taken an important step toward Helping America Vote and ensuring that every citizen has the opportunity to vote and have their vote counted. 

 

Marci Andino

Executive Director

South Carolina State Election Commission

 


Introduction

The South Carolina State Election Commission is tasked with the responsibility of overseeing the voter registration and election processes in the State.  The SEC has multiple responsibilities:

¨       Maintaining the State’s computerized statewide voter registration system, which is used to validate registered voters during elections and which also serves as a source for selection of jurors in the state

¨       Providing voter registration and election materials

¨       Printing the lists of registered voters for all elections held in the state

¨       Printing or providing funding for ballots for all federal offices, statewide offices and constitutional amendments voted on in South Carolina

¨       Producing databases and machine ballots for elections in the State conducted using electronic voting systems supported by the State Election Commission

¨       Providing oversight, including assistance and advisory services to county and municipal election officials for elections in South Carolina

¨       Training voter registration and election officials

¨       Serving as the State Board of Canvassers after elections to certify election returns, to declare candidates elected, and to hear protests/appeals that may arise

The South Carolina State Election Commission continually looks for ways to improve the election process and to maintain its integrity.  Highlighting the ongoing process are recent major SEC initiatives, including 1) the 1999 Statewide Election Summit, and 2) the 2001 Governor’s Task Force on Elections.  Important priorities identified through these statewide initiatives include:

¨       Rewrite the current statewide voter registration system

¨       Establish a statewide uniform voting system

South Carolina has already secured state funds and is in the process of rewriting the voter registration system.  The statewide uniform voting system and related improvements are the top priority to be met through the HAVA State Plan.  As a result of these combined efforts, South Carolina’s vision of a high-capability, comprehensive statewide voting program will be realized.

State Plan

The South Carolina State Plan is organized as specified by HAVA and includes the following components, each of which is addressed within this document.

 

HAVA Component

HAVA Description

Cross-Reference to HAVA HR3295

Meeting Title III Requirements and Other Activities

How the State will use the requirements payment to meet the requirements of title III, and if applicable under Section 251 (a)(2), to carry out other activities to improve the administration of elections.

Section 254 (a) (1)

Payment Distribution and Monitoring

How the State will distribute and monitor the distribution of the requirements payment to units of local government or other entities in the State for carrying out the activities described in paragraph (1), including a description of (A) the criteria to be used to determine the eligibility of such units or entities for receiving the payment; and (B) the methods to be used by the State to monitor the performance of the units or entities to whom the payment is distributed, consistent with the performance goals and measures adopted under paragraph(8).

Section 254 (a) (2)

Provision for Education and Training

How the State will provide for programs for voter education, election official education and training, and poll worker training which will assist the State in meeting the requirements of title III.

Section 254 (a) (3)

Voting System Guidelines and Processes

How the State will adopt voting system guidelines and processes which are consistent with the requirements of section 301.

Section 254 (a) (4)

Fund for Administering State Activities

How the State will establish a fund described in subsection (b) for purposes of administering the State’s activities under this part, including information on fund management.

Section 254 (a) (5)

Proposed State Budget

The State’s proposed budget for activities under this part, based on the State’s best estimates of the costs of such activities and the amount of funds to be made available, including specific information on (A) the costs of the activities required to be carried out to meet the requirements of title III; (B) the portion of the requirements payment which will be used to carry out activities to meet such requirements; and (C) the portion of the requirements payment which will be used to carry out other activities.

Section 254 (a) (6)

Maintenance of Prior Year Expenditures

How the State, in using the requirements payment, will maintain the expenditures of the State for activities funded by the payment at a level that is not less than the level of such expenditures maintained by the State for the fiscal year ending prior to November 2000.

Section 254 (a) (7)

Performance Goals and Measures

How the State will adopt performance goals and measures that will be used by the State to determine its success and the success of units of local government in the State in carrying out the plan, including timetables for meeting each of the elements of the plan, descriptions of the criteria the State will use to measure performance and the process used to develop such criteria, and a description of which official is to be held responsible for ensuring that each performance goal is met.

Section 254 (a) (8)

Administrative Complaint Procedures

A description of the uniform, nondiscriminatory State-based administrative complaint procedures in effect under section 402.

Section 254 (a) (9)

Use of Title I Payment

If the State received any payment under title I, a description of how such payment will affect the activities proposed to be carried out under the plan, including the amount of funds available for such activities.

Section 254 (a) (10)

Ongoing Management of Plan

How the State will conduct ongoing management of the plan, except that the State may not make any material change in the administration of the law unless the change (A) is developed and published in the Federal Register in accordance with section 255 in the same manner as the State plan; (B) is subject to public notice and comment in accordance with section 256 in the same manner as the State plan; and (C) takes effect only after the expiration of the 30-day period which begins on the date the change is published in the Federal Register in accordance with subparagraph (A).

Section 254 (a) (11)

Previous Year Plan

In the case of a State with a State plan in effect under this subtitle during the previous fiscal year, a description of how the plan reflects changes from the State plan for the previous fiscal year and of how the State succeeded in carrying out the State plan for such previous fiscal year.

Section 254 (a) (12)

Committee

A description of the committee which participated in the development of the State plan in accordance with section 255 and the procedures followed by the committee under such section and section 256.

Section 254 (a) (13)

 

 


1. Meeting Title III Requirements and Other Activities

How the State of South Carolina will use the requirements payment to meet the requirements of Title III, and, if applicable under section 251(a)(2), to carry out other activities to improve the administration of elections. 

1.1 Current Status

Voter Registration System

South Carolina has had a statewide voter registration system in place since 1968.  The capability of this system was expanded in 1992 to connect all counties via interactive access to the voter registration system.

Training

Two types of certification for County Voter Registration Boards and Election Commissions are offered: 1) Voter Registration or Election Commission Members and Directors, and 2) Voter Registration or Election Commission Staff.

By law, South Carolina counties provide training for Poll Managers.  The State Election Commission supports this training with a comprehensive manual, updated every year based on changes in the law.

The State Training Coordinator trains municipalities on how to conduct municipal elections.

South Carolina Election Systems in Use

South Carolina currently uses seven different types of voting equipment in its 46 counties.  There are 24 counties with five different direct recording electronic (DRE) machines; 10 counties utilizing punch cards and 12 counties on a mark sense optical scan system.  Additionally, there are a number of dissimilar absentee voting systems in use.

Election System

County

Danaher Controls 1242 DRE

Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Berkeley, Charleston, Dorchester, Edgefield, Fairfield, Hampton, Horry, Marion, Spartanburg

MicroVote MV-464 DRE

Darlington, Dillon, Marlboro, Richland

MicroVote Infinity DRE

Chester, Colleton, Jasper, Pickens

Unilect Patriot DRE

Georgetown, Lancaster, Newberry

ES&S Votronic DRE

Greenwood

ES&S Optical Scan System

Abbeville, Beaufort, Calhoun, Chesterfield, Clarendon, Laurens, Lee, McCormick, Orangeburg, Saluda, Union, Williamsburg

Punch Card

Aiken, Anderson, Cherokee, Florence, Greenville, Kershaw, Lexington, Oconee, Sumter, York

 

South Carolina Election Systems by County

County

Voting System

Absentee System

# Machines

# Precincts

# Reg. Voters as of April 2003

Abbeville

Optical Scan

Optical Scan

2

15

15,725

Aiken

Punch Card

Optical Scan

462

73

84,777

Allendale

DRE

Optical Scan

15

9

6,586

Anderson

Punch Card

Punch Card

650

76

95,844

Bamberg

DRE

Optical Scan

32

14

10,127

Barnwell

DRE

Paper Ballot

44

16

12,300

Beaufort

Optical Scan

Optical Scan

92

78

75,486

Berkeley

DRE

Optical Scan

181

51

77,529

Calhoun

Optical Scan

Optical Scan

2

13

10,189

Charleston

DRE

Optical Scan

541

174

196,370

Cherokee

Punch Card

Punch Card

200

34

30,963

Chester

DRE

MicroVote

80

23

20,576

Chesterfield

Optical Scan

Optical Scan

1

30

23,326

Clarendon

Optical Scan

Optical Scan

60

26

20,847

Colleton

DRE

Optical Scan

52

33

21,067

Darlington

DRE

Optical Scan

121

34

39,386

Dillon

DRE

Optical Scan

42

21

19,170

Dorchester

DRE

Optical Scan

152

37

61,267

Edgefield

DRE

MicroVote

32

12

15,211

Fairfield

DRE

Optical Scan

30

23

14,385

Florence

Punch Card

Punch Card

410

64

75,569

Georgetown

DRE

Unilect

156

35

35,724

Greenville

Punch Card

Punch Card

1323

136

233,723

Greenwood

DRE

Optical Scan

160

34

37,006

Hampton

DRE

Optical Scan

36

19

14,027

Horry

DRE

Optical Scan

242

109

130,803

Jasper

DRE

Optical Scan

46

15

12,303

Kershaw

Punch Card

Punch Card

230

31

35,603

Lancaster

DRE

Unilect

130

28

34,486

Laurens

Optical Scan

Optical Scan

34

35

36,847

Lee

Optical Scan

Optical Scan

2

25

13,405

Lexington

Punch Card

Punch Card

800

69

137,923

Marion

DRE

Optical Scan

60

18

22,904

Marlboro

DRE

Optical Scan

41

16

18,971

McCormick

Optical Scan

Optical Scan

1

11

6,812

Newberry

DRE

Unilect

95

31

20,835

Oconee

Punch Card

Punch Card

200

30

39,240

Orangeburg

Optical Scan

Optical Scan

60

54

60,296

Pickens

DRE

Optical Scan

250

53

60,455

Richland

DRE

Optical Scan

765

111

200,855

Saluda

Optical Scan

Optical Scan

1

19

11,393

Spartanburg

DRE

Punch Card

245

88

147,860

Sumter

Punch Card

Punch Card

450

53

62,011

Union

Optical Scan

Optical Scan

1

28

10,272

Williamsburg

Optical Scan

Optical Scan

1

34

23,351

York

Punch Card

Punch Card

689

57

98,897

 

1.2 Voting System Options Considered

The Help America Vote Act of 2002 defines a voting system as follows:

1.      “the total combination of mechanical, electromechanical, or electronic equipment (including the software, firmware, and documentation required to program, control, and support the equipment) that is used (A) to define ballots; (B) to cast and count votes; (C) to report or display election results; and (D) to maintain and produce any audit trail information; and”

2.      “the practices and associated documentation used – (A) to identify system components and versions of such components; (B) to test the system during its development and maintenance; (C) to maintain records of system errors and defects; (D) to determine specific system changes to be made to a system after the initial qualification of the system; and (E) to make available any materials to the voter (such as notices, instructions, forms, or paper ballots).”

In addressing the requirements of HAVA, the voting system standards team considered three options in order to meet the mandates.  The three options were presented to the entire HAVA State Plan task force for consideration: 

¨       Option 1: Upgrade existing systems to meet or exceed HAVA requirements

As indicated above, the myriad systems currently in use in South Carolina create problems in the area of voter education, programming, candidate uniformity on ballots, election night reporting of results to the state, etc. This option would not solve the current shortcomings of the numerous systems. 

¨       Option 2: Electronic voting systems in all counties

This option would require each county to go to a federal and state approved DRE system of their choosing.  Although this option would achieve the goals under the HAVA Act, the state would continue to have a variety in the types of equipment it uses.

¨       Option 3:   Statewide uniform electronic voting system

This option would provide a uniform system of voting for every county in the state.  This option would standardize the election process including voter education in the state, poll worker training, uniformity of Federal and State offices in ballot and machine programming, etc.

Having considered the various options to comply with HAVA Title III requirements relating to voting system equipment and based on facts and the pros and cons of the three options, the entire task force decided on a statewide uniform electronic voting system to best meet the needs of HAVA and the State of South Carolina (Option 3).

The following approach will be taken to select a statewide system:

¨       A consultant experienced in conducting needs assessments and writing Requests for Proposal (RFP) will be contracted.

¨       A committee consisting of the State Election Commission, county election commissions and boards of registration, and other stakeholders such as organizations for the disabled, will be assembled to work with consultant to determine the specifications for a statewide system.

¨       State procurement codes and bidding process will be followed for the issuance of the RFP.

¨       An evaluation committee will be assembled for meetings to evaluate vendor responses to the RFP.  The membership of the committee will be made up of state and county election officials.

                


1.3 Voting System Standards

Title III requirements for uniform and non-discriminatory election technology and administration are specified in HAVA section 301.  The chart below takes each of the Voting Systems Standards and describes South Carolina’s plan to meet the requirement.

 

S.C. Status

 

Section 301: Voting System Standards

Meets Requirement

Meets Requirement Partially

New Capability    to be Implemented

Implementation

(a) REQUIREMENTS – Each voting system used in an election for Federal office shall meet the following requirements:

 

 

 

 

(1)  IN GENERAL –

 

 

 

 

(A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), the voting system (including any lever voting system, optical scanning voting system, or direct recording electronic system) shall –

 

 

 

 

(i) permit the voter to verify (in a private and independent manner) the votes selected by the voter on the ballot before the ballot is cast and counted;

 

Yes

Yes

 

South Carolina will fully meet this requirement when a statewide uniform electronic voting system is implemented.  The RFP for a Statewide system will require a review screen for each voter to verify their selections before casting their ballot.

(ii) provide the voter with the opportunity (in a private and independent manner) to change the ballot or correct any error before the ballot is cast and counted (including the opportunity to correct the error through the issuance of a replacement ballot if the voter was otherwise unable to change the ballot or correct any error), and

 

Yes

Yes

South Carolina will fully meet this requirement when a statewide uniform electronic voting system is implemented.  The RFP for a statewide system will require the system to allow each voter to make changes based on the information presented on a review screen.

(iii) if the voter selects votes for more than 1 candidate for a single office – (I) notify the voter that the voter has selected more than 1 candidate for a single office on the ballot; (II) notify the voter before the ballot is cast and counted of the effect of casting multiple votes for the office; and, (III) provide the voter with the opportunity to correct the ballot before the ballot is cast and counted.

 

Yes

Yes

South Carolina will fully meet this requirement when a statewide uniform electronic voting system is implemented.  The RFP for a statewide system will require that the system not allow a voter to choose more than one candidate for a single office.

(B) A State or jurisdiction that uses a paper ballot voting system, a punch card voting system, or a central count voting system (including mail-in absentee ballots and mail-in ballots), may meet the requirements of subparagraph (A)(iii) by –

 

 

 

 

(i) establishing a voter education program specific to that voting system that notifies each voter of the effect of casting multiple votes for an office; and

 

Yes

Yes

South Carolina partially meets this requirement.  When a statewide uniform electronic voting system is implemented instructions specific to that voting system will be developed.  These instructions will be given to each voter in written form.  In addition, absentee ballots will be accompanied by written instructions that address this requirement.

(ii) providing the voter with instructions on how to correct the ballot before it is cast and counted (including instructions on how to correct the error through the issuance of a replacement ballot if the voter was otherwise unable to change the ballot or correct any error).

 

Yes

Yes

South Carolina partially meets this requirement.  When a statewide uniform electronic voting system is implemented instructions specific to that voting system will be developed.  These instructions will be given to each voter in written form.  In addition, absentee ballots will be accompanied by written instructions that address this requirement.

(C) The voting system shall ensure that any notification required under this paragraph preserves the privacy of the voter and the confidentiality of the ballot.

 

Yes

Yes

Instructions mentioned in B(ii) will be posted inside the polling place and inside the voting booth.

(2) AUDIT CAPACITY –

 

 

 

 

(A) IN GENERAL – The voting system shall produce a record with an audit capacity for such system.

 

Yes

Yes

South Carolina will meet this requirement when a statewide uniform electronic voting system is implemented. The RFP for a statewide system will require the system to produce such an audit capacity.

(B) MANUAL AUDIT CAPACITY –

 

 

 

 

(i) The voting system shall produce a permanent paper record with a manual audit capacity for such system.

 

Yes

Yes

South Carolina will meet this requirement when a statewide uniform electronic voting system is implemented.  The RFP for a statewide system will require that the system produce an image of each vote cast; however, these votes will not be associated with any particular voter.

(ii) The voting system shall provide the voter with an opportunity to change the ballot or correct any error before the permanent paper record is produced.

 

Yes

Yes

South Carolina will meet this requirement when a statewide uniform electronic voting system is implemented. 

(iii) The paper record produced under subparagraph (A) shall be available as an official record for any recount conducted with respect to any election in which the system is used.

 

 

Yes

South Carolina will meet this requirement when a statewide uniform electronic voting system is implemented.  

County election officials shall be instructed to retain and secure the paper record in the event that a recount to be conducted with such record is ordered.

(3) ACCESSIBILITY FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH          DISABILITIES – The voting system shall –

 

 

 

 

(A) be accessible for individuals with disabilities, including non-visual accessibility for the blind and visually impaired, in  manner that provides the same opportunity for access and participation (including privacy and independence) as for other voters;

 

 

Yes

South Carolina will meet this requirement when a statewide uniform electronic voting system is implemented. The RFP for a statewide system will require that the system be accessible to as many disabilities as possible, including the blind and visually impaired.

(B) satisfy the requirement of subparagraph (A) through the use of at least 1 direct recording electronic voting system or other voting system equipped for individuals with disabilities at each polling place; and

 

 

Yes

South Carolina will meet this requirement when a statewide uniform electronic voting system is implemented.  The RFP for a statewide system will request at least one voting unit per precinct to be equipped for individuals with disabilities as outlined above.

(C) if purchased with funds made available under Title II on or after January 1, 2007, meet the voting system standards for disability access

 

 

 

Does not apply at this time     

(4) ALTERNATIVE LANGUAGE ACCESSIBILITY – The voting system shall provide alternative language accessibility pursuant to the requirements of section 203 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. 1973aa-1a).

Yes

 

Yes

South Carolina currently meets this requirement.  While South Carolina is not required, based on the 2000 census and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to provide alternative language to any jurisdiction in the State, the RFP for a statewide system will require this feature in the event that the State chooses to provide this feature to its voters.

(5) Error Rates – The error rate of the voting system in counting ballots (determined by taking into account only those errors which are attributable to the voting system and not attributable to an act of the voter) shall comply with the error rate standards established under section 3.2.1 of the voting systems standards issued by the Federal Election Commission which are in effect on the date of the enactment of this Act.

 

 

Yes

South Carolina will meet this requirement when a statewide uniform electronic voting system is implemented.  The RFP for a statewide system will require that the system chosen be NASED Qualified as having met or exceeded federal voting system standards.

(6) UNIFORM DEFINITION OF WHAT CONSTITUTES A VOTE – Each State shall adopt uniform and nondiscriminatory standards that define what constitutes a vote and what will be counted as a vote for each category of voting system used in the State.

 

 

Yes

South Carolina will meet this requirement when a statewide uniform electronic voting system is implemented.  The State will define a legal vote in a uniform manner for the type of system chosen as the statewide system.  In addition, the State will define a legal vote as it pertains to absentee ballots.

 

1.4 Provisional Voting & Voting Information Requirements

The chart below takes each of the Provisional Voting and Voting Information requirements and describes South Carolina’s plan to meet the requirement.

 

S.C. Status

 

Section 302: Provisional Voting and Voting Information Requirements

Meets Requirement

Meets Requirement Partially

New Capability   to be Implemented

Implementation

(a) PROVISIONAL VOTING REQUIREMENTS – If an individual declares that such individual is a registered voter in the jurisdiction in which the individual desires to vote and that the individual is eligible to vote in an election for Federal office, but the name of the individual does not appear on the official list of eligible voters for the polling place or an election official asserts that the individual shall be permitted to cast a provisional ballot as follows:

 

 

 

 

(1) An election official at the polling place shall notify the individual that the individual may cast a provisional ballot in that election.

Yes

 

 

South Carolina currently meets this requirement.  South Carolina legislation requires that voters who have moved and neglected to change their address will have the opportunity to vote using the Failsafe procedure.  Also, legislation is in place to accommodate voters who are challenged.

(2) The individual shall be permitted to cast a provisional ballot at that polling place upon the execution of a written affirmation by the individual before an election official at the polling place stating that the individual is (a) registered voter in the jurisdiction in which the individual desires to vote; and (b) eligible to vote in that election.

Yes

 

 

South Carolina currently meets this requirement.  Each voter signs an oath with this language before receiving a ballot.

(3) An election official at the polling place shall transmit the ballot cast by the individual or the voter information contained in the written affirmation executed by the individual under paragraph (2) to an appropriate State or local election official for prompt verification under paragraph (4).

Yes

 

 

South Carolina currently meets this requirement.  The voter’s ballot is placed in a provisional ballot envelope which contains various information about the voter.

(4) If the appropriate State or local election official to whom the ballot or voter information is transmitted under paragraph (3) determines that the individual is eligible under State law to vote, the individual’s provisional ballot shall be counted as a vote in that election in accordance with State law.

Yes

 

 

South Carolina currently meets this requirement.  Information contained on the provisional ballot envelope used by local election officials to determine the validity of the voter is reported at a certification hearing within three days after the election.  If the vote is determined to be valid it is counted at the certification hearing.

(5) (A) At the time that an individual casts a provisional         ballot, the appropriate State or local election official shall         give the individual written information that states that any individual who casts a provisional ballot will be able to ascertain under the system established under subparagraph (B) whether the vote was counted, and, if the vote was not counted, that reason that the vote was not counted.

 

 

Yes 

When a voter casts a provisional ballot, that ballot will be placed in a provisional ballot envelope.  Written instructions will be given to the voter on determining whether their vote was counted in the election. 

(B) The appropriate State or local election official shall       establish a free access system (such as a toll-free telephone number or an Internet website) that any individual who casts a provisional ballot may access to discover whether the vote of that individual was counted, and, if the vote was not counted, the reason that the vote was not counted.

 

 

Yes 

A website application will allow the voter to determine whether their vote was counted or, if their vote was not counted, the reason it was not counted. 

(b) VOTING INFORMATION REQUIREMENTS –

 

 

 

 

(1) PUBLIC POSTING ON ELECTION DAY – The appropriate State or local election official shall cause voting information to be publicly posted at each polling place on the day of each election for Federal office.

 

 

 

See (2) below for public posting of specific voting information.   

(2) VOTING INFORMATION DEFINED – In this section, the term “voting information” means –

 

 

 

 

(A) a sample version of the ballot that will be used for that election;

Yes

 

 

South Carolina currently meets this requirement.   Poll managers at each polling place are required to display a sample ballot of each ballot in the respective election.

(B) information regarding the date of the election and the hours during which polling places will be open;

Yes

 

 

South Carolina currently meets this requirement.  This information is currently listed on a Voter’s Rights and Responsibilities poster which is displayed at each polling location.

(C) instructions for how to vote, including how to cast a vote and how to cast a provisional ballot;

Yes

 

 

South Carolina meets this requirement.

Instructions for all voting systems currently in use are provided at the polling locations.  A poster of the voter’s bill of rights is displayed.  Provisional ballot instructions are included in this bill of rights. 

(D) instructions for mail-in registrants and first-time voters under section 303(b);

Yes

 

 

South Carolina currently meets this requirement by providing written instructions to these voters.

(E) general information on voting rights under applicable Federal and State laws, including information on the right of an individual to cast a provisional ballot and instructions on how to contact the appropriate officials if these rights are alleged to have been violated; and

Yes

 

 

South Carolina currently meets this requirement by posting a Voter Rights and Responsibilities poster at every polling location.

(F) general information on Federal and State laws regarding prohibitions on acts of fraud and misrepresentation.

 

 

Yes

This information will be added to our current Voter Rights and Responsibilities poster.

(c) VOTERS WHO VOTE AFTER THE POLLS CLOSE – Any individual who votes in an election for Federal office as a result of a Federal or State court order or any other order extending the time established for closing the polls by a State law in effect 10 days before the date of that election may only vote in that election by casting as provisional ballot under subsection (a).  Any such ballot cast under the preceding sentence shall be separated and held apart from other provisional ballots cast by those not affected by the order.

 

 

Yes

South Carolina will establish a procedure for provisional ballots cast by voters in accordance with a court order extending the time established for closing the polls.

 

1.5 Computerized Statewide Voter Registration List & Voters Who Register by Mail

The chart below takes each of the requirements for the Computerized Statewide Voter Registration List and for Voters Who Register by Mail and describes South Carolina’s plan to meet the requirement.

 

S.C. Status

 

Section 303: Computerized Statewide Voter Registration List and Voters Who Register by Mail

Meets Requirement

Meets Requirement Partially

New Capability   to be Implemented

Implementation

(a) COMPUTERIZED STATEWIDE VOTER REGISTRATION LIST REQUIREMENTS

 

 

 

 

(1) IMPLEMENTATION –

 

 

 

 

(A) IN GENERAL – Each State, acting through the chief State election official, shall implement, in a uniform and nondiscriminatory manner, a single, uniform, official, centralized, interactive computerized statewide voter registration list defined, maintained, and administered at the State level that contains the name and registration information of every legally registered voter in the State and assigns a unique identifier to each legally registered voter in the State (in this subsection referred to as the “computerized list”), and includes the following:

Yes

 

 

South Carolina currently meets this requirement.  A statewide voter registration system has been used in the State since 1968. 

SC currently maintains a single, uniform, official, centralized, interactive computerized statewide voter registration system at the state level.  All 46 counties are connected to the statewide voter registration system.  Additions and changes made by the county offices and State office to the voter registration file are interactive.

(i) The computerized list shall serve as the single system for storing and managing the official list of registered voters throughout the State.

Yes

 

 

South Carolina currently meets this requirement.   The statewide voter registration system is housed at the State data center in Columbia and maintained by the State Election Commission.

The State Election Commission provides an official list of registered voters for each election held in South Carolina.

(ii) The computerized list contains the name and registration information of every legally registered voter in the State.

Yes

 

 

South Carolina currently meets this requirement.

Computerized list contains name, address, SS#, date of birth, precinct, and election districts for every legally registered voter in South Carolina.

(iii) Under the computerized list, a unique identifier is assigned to each legally registered voter in the State.

Yes

 

 

South Carolina currently meets this requirement.  The system assigns each voter a unique registration number at the time they register to vote.

(iv) The computerized list shall be coordinated with other agency databases with the State.

Yes

 

 

South Carolina currently meets this requirement.

DMV, DSS, and other state agency databases are coordinated through Motor Voter processes.  The counties access a file received on a weekly basis from these agencies to approve applications made through NVRA.

(v) Any election official in the State, including any local election official, may obtain immediate electronic access to the information contained in the computerized list.

Yes

 

 

South Carolina currently meets this requirement.

All local and state election officials have access to this file.  Each local election official is assigned a USERID and password that must be used to access the official file of registered voters.  Voters can also inquire via the SEC website to look at their own record to check status, address, election districts, and polling place by keying in their name and date of birth.

(vi) All voter registration information obtained by any local election official in the State shall be electronically entered into the computerized list on an expedited basis at the time the information is provided to the local official.

Yes

 

 

South Carolina currently meets this requirement.

Local election officials have access to database constantly to enter new voter registrations or updates to voter’s record on a real time basis.

(vii) The chief State election official shall provide such support as may be required so that local election officials are able to enter information as described in clause (vi).

Yes

 

 

South Carolina currently meets this requirement.

Local voter registration officials have access to the official file on a continuous basis.  Technical support is provided through staff at the State Election Commission and a Help Desk.

(viii) The computerized list shall serve as the official voter registration list for the conduct of all elections for Federal office in the State.

Yes

 

 

South Carolina currently meets this requirement.

The State Election Commission currently prints and sends the official list of registered voters to the county for use in all elections that are held in the State.

(B) EXCEPTION – The requirement under subparagraph (A) shall not apply to a State in which, under a State law in effect continuously on and after the date of the enactment of this Act, there is no voter registration requirement for individuals in the State with respect to elections for Federal office.

 

 

 

Does not apply.

South Carolina requires potential voters to register to vote. 

(2) COMPUTERIZED LIST MAINTENANCE –

 

 

 

 

(A) IN GENERAL – The appropriate State or local election official shall perform list maintenance with respect to the computerized list on a regular basis as follows:

 

 

 

 

(i) If an individual is to be removed from the computerized list, such individual shall be removed in accordance with the provisions of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (42 U.S.C. 1973gg et seq.), including subsections (a)(4), (c)(2), (d), and (e) of section 8 of such Act (42 U.S.C. 1973gg-6).

Yes

 

 

South Carolina currently meets this requirement.

The State Election Commission is the only one authorized to remove names from the official list of registered voters.

(ii) For purposes of removing names of ineligible voters from the official list of eligible voters –

 

 

 

 

(I) under section 8(a)(3)(B) of such Act (42 U.S.C. 1973gg-6(a)(3)(B)), the State shall coordinate the computerized list with State agency records on felony status; and

Yes

 

 

South Carolina currently meets this requirement.

Felony records are removed by the State upon notification from courts of felony convictions on a monthly basis.

(II) by reason of the death of the registrant under section 8(a)(4)(A) of such Act (42 U.S.C. 1973gg-6(a)(4)(A)), the State shall coordinate the computerized list with State agency records on death

Yes

 

 

South Carolina currently meets this requirement.

Deaths are removed by the State upon notification from DHEC on a monthly basis.

(iii) Notwithstanding the preceding provisions of this paragraph, if a State is described in section 4(b) of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (42 U.S.C. 1973gg-2(b)), that State shall remove the names of ineligible voters from the computerized list in accordance with State law.

Yes

 

 

South Carolina currently meets this requirement.

In accordance with the NVRA of 1993, a confirmation card policy is in effect and appropriate voters are removed as required.

(B) CONDUCT – The list maintenance performed under subparagraph (A) shall be conducted in a manner that ensures that –

 

 

 

 

(i) the name of each registered voter appears in the computerized list;

Yes

 

 

South Carolina currently meets this requirement.

(ii) only voters who are not registered or who are not eligible to vote are removed from the computerized list; and

Yes

 

 

South Carolina currently meets this requirement.

Name, SS#, and date of birth verified on each voter before name removed from voter registration file.

(iii) duplicate names are eliminated from the computerized list.

Yes

 

 

South Carolina currently meets this requirement.

State Election Commission performs quarterly comparison using SS# and date of birth.  A report is generated listing all duplicate records.  This report is distributed to County Registration Boards for confirmation before names are actually deleted by State Election Commission.

(3) TECHNOLOGICAL SECURITY OF COMPUTERIZED LIST – The appropriate State or local official shall provide adequate technological security measures to prevent the unauthorized access to the computerized list established under this section.

Yes

 

 

South Carolina currently meets this requirement.

Old System: This IDMS mainframe system is secured by RACF.  It is deployed over a SNA network or by EZ3270 TCP/IP emulator over the internet.  The transmission of data is encrypted.

New System:  The users of this web application will be authenticated by an LDAP server.  Each user will be assigned a unique USERID and password.  The application is deployed over a secured Internet connection using HTTPS.

(4) MINIMUM STANDARD FOR ACCURACY OF STATE VOTER REGISTRATION RECORDS – The State election system shall include provisions to ensure that voter registration records in the State are accurate and are updated regularly, including the following:

Yes

 

 

South Carolina currently meets this requirement.

(A) A system of file maintenance that makes a reasonable effort to remove registrants who are ineligible to vote from the official list of eligible voters.  Under such system, consistent with the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (42 U.S.C. 1973gg et seq.), registrants who have not responded to a notice and who have not voted in 2 consecutive general elections for Federal office shall be removed from the official list of eligible voters, except that no registrant may be removed solely by reason of a failure to vote.

Yes

 

 

South Carolina currently meets this requirement.

South Carolina has a confirmation mailing procedure consistent with the National Voter Registration Act of 1993.

(B) Safeguards to ensure that eligible voters are not removed in error from the official list of eligible voters.

Yes

 

 

South Carolina currently meets this requirement.

Name, SS#, and date of birth are compared on each voter before removal.

(5) VERIFICATION OF VOTER REGISTRATION INFORMATION –

 

 

 

 

(A) REQUIRING PROVISION OF CERTAIN INFORMATION BY APPLICANTS –

 

 

 

 

(i) IN GENERAL – Except as provided in clause (ii), notwithstanding any other provision of law, an application for voter registration for an election for Federal office may not be accepted or processed by a State unless the application includes –

 

 

 

 

(I) in the case of an applicant who has been issued a current and valid driver’s license, the applicant’s driver’s license number; or

Yes

 

 

SC law requires full Social Security Number and does not accept the driver’s license number as a valid alternative.

(II) in the case of any other applicant (other than an applicant to whom clause (ii) applies), the last 4 digits of the applicant’s social security number.

Yes

 

 

South Carolina currently meets this requirement.

SC requires full Social Security Number.

(ii) SPECIAL RULE FOR APPLICANTS WITHOUT DRIVER’S LICENSE OR SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER – If an applicant for voter registration for an election for Federal office has not been issued a current and valid driver’s license or a social security number, the State shall assign the applicant a number which will serve to identify the applicant for voter registration purposes.  To the extent that the State has a computerized list in effect under this subsection and the lists assigns unique identifying numbers to registrants, the number assigned under this clause shall be the unique identifying number assigned under the list.

Yes

 

 

SC law requires full Social Security Number.

Our voter registration system assigns a voter registration number to each applicant that is unique to each voter.

(iii) DETERMINATION OF VALIDITY OF NUMBERS PROVIDED – The State shall determine whether the information provided by an individual is sufficient to meet the requirements of this subparagraph, in accordance with State law.

Yes

 

 

South Carolina currently meets this requirement.

(B) REQUIREMENTS FOR STATE OFFICIALS –

 

 

 

 

(i) SHARING INFORMATION IN DATABASES – The chief State election official and the official responsible for the State motor vehicle authority of a State shall enter into an agreement to match information in the database of the statewide voter registration system with information in the database of the motor vehicle authority to the extent required to enable each such official to verify the accuracy of the information provided on applications for voter registration.

 

 

Yes

The chief State election official will enter into an agreement with Department of Motor Vehicles to coordinate verification process.

(ii) AGREEMENTS WITH COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY – The official responsible for the State motor vehicle authority shall enter into an agreement with the Commissioner of Social Security under section 205(r)(8) of the Social Security Act (as added by subparagraph (C)).

 

 

 

Not applicable in South Carolina because the entire social security number is required by State law, and thus the State falls under (D) Special Rule for Certain States.

(C) ACCESS TO FEDERAL INFORMATION –

 

 

 

South Carolina requires the full social security number by State law.

(D) SPECIAL RULE FOR CERTAIN STATES – In the case of a State which is permitted to use social security numbers, and provides for the use of social security numbers, on applications for voter registration, in accordance with section 7 of the Privacy Act of 1974, the provisions of this paragraph shall be optional.

 

 

 

South Carolina requires the full social security number by State law.

(b) REQUIREMENTS FOR VOTERS WHO REGISTER BY MAIL –

 

 

 

 

(1) IN GENERAL – Notwithstanding section 6(c) of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (42 U.S.C. 1973gg-4(c)) and subject to paragraph (3), a State shall, in a uniform and nondiscriminatory manner, require an individual to meet the requirements of paragraph (2) if 

 

 

 

 

(A) the individual registered to vote in a jurisdiction by mail; and

Yes

 

 

South Carolina currently meets this requirement.

(B)(i) the individual has not previously voted in an election for federal office in the State; or

Yes

 

 

South Carolina currently meets this requirement.

(ii) the individual has not previously voted in such an election in the jurisdiction and the jurisdiction is located in a State that does not have a computerized list that complies with the requirements of subsection (a).

Yes

 

 

South Carolina currently meets this requirement.

(2) REQUIREMENTS –

 

 

 

 

(A) IN GENERAL – An individual meets the requirements of this paragraph if the individual –

 

 

 

 

(i) in the case of an individual who votes in person –

 

 

 

 

(I) presents to the appropriate State or local election official a current and valid photo identification; or

Yes

 

 

South Carolina currently meets this requirement.

Each voter is required to present one form of ID when voting in person: valid SC driver’s license with current address, or photo ID issued by DMV with current address, or as shown below, a voter registration certificate.

(II) presents to the appropriate State or local election official a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows the name and address of the voter; or

Yes

 

 

South Carolina law permits the presentation of one specific government document – the voter registration certificate - to identify the voter.

 

(ii) in the case of an individual who votes by mail, submits with the ballot –

 

 

 

 

(I) a copy of a current and valid photo identification; or.

 

 

Yes

South Carolina law does not currently accept photo identification when voting by mail.  SEC will develop procedures to track receipt of photo identification at time of voting.

(II) a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows the name and address of the voter.

Yes

 

 

South Carolina law permits the presentation of one specific government document – the voter registration certificate - to identify the voter.

(B) FAIL-SAFE VOTING –

 

 

 

 

(i) IN PERSON – An individual who desires to vote in person, but who does not meet the requirements of subparagraph (A)(i), may cast a provisional ballot under section 302(a).

Yes

 

 

South Carolina currently meets this requirement.

SC provides provisional ballots at each precinct.

(ii) BY MAIL – An individual who desires to vote by mail, but who does not meet the requirements of subparagraph (A)(ii), may cast such a ballot by mail and the ballot shall be counted as a provisional ballot in accordance with section 302(a).

Yes

 

 

South Carolina currently meets this requirement.

SC provides provisional ballots for this purpose.  The ballots are placed in a provisional envelope and kept separate from other absentee ballots until they are counted.

(3) INAPPLICABILITY – Paragraph (1) shall not apply in the case of a person –

 

 

 

 

(A) who registers to vote by mail under section 6 of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 and submits as part of such registration either

Yes

 

 

South Carolina currently meets this requirement.

 

(i) a copy of a current and valid photo identification; or

 

 

Yes

SEC will develop procedures to track receipt of photo identification at time of registration.

 

(ii) a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, pay check, or government document that shows the name and address of the voter;

 

 

Yes

SEC will develop procedures to comply with the specified acceptable documents.

(B)(i) who registers to vote by mail under section 6 of the National Voter Registration Act of  1993 (42 U.S.C. 1973gg-4) and submits as part of such registration either –

Yes

 

 

South Carolina currently meets this requirement.

(I) a driver’s license number; or

Yes

 

 

SC law requires full Social Security Number and does not accept the driver’s license number as a valid alternative.

(II) at least the last 4 digits of the individual’s social security number; and

Yes

 

 

South Carolina currently meets this requirement.

SC requires applicant’s complete SS# on all applications. 

(ii) with respect to whom a State or local election official matches the information submitted under clause (i) with an existing State identification record bearing the same number, name and date of birth as provided in such registration; or

 

 

Yes

Agreement will be reached with Department of Motor Vehicles with this verification process.

(C) who is –

 

 

 

 

(i) entitled to vote by absentee ballot under the Uniformed and Oversea Citizens Absentee Voting Act (42 U.S.C. 1973ff-1 et seq.);

 

 

Yes

South Carolina will track this exemption on applicant’s electronic record by identifying applicant as UOCAVA.

(ii) provided the right to vote otherwise than in person under section 3(b)(2)(B)(ii) of the Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act (42 U.S.C. 1973ee-1(b)(2)(B)(ii)); or

 

 

Yes

South Carolina will track this exemption on applicant’s electronic record.

(iii) entitled to vote otherwise than in person under any other Federal law.

 

 

Yes

South Carolina will track this exemption on applicant’s electronic record.

(4) CONTENTS OF MAIL-IN REGISTRATON FORM –

 

 

 

 

(A) IN GENERAL – The mail voter registration form developed under section 6 of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (42 U.S.C. 1973gg-4) shall include the following:

 

 

 

 

(i) The question “Are you a citizen of the United States of America?” and boxes for the applicant to check to indicate whether the applicant to check to indicate whether the applicant is or is not a citizen of the United States.

 

 

Yes

This question will be added to all voter registration applications used in South Carolina.

(ii) The question “Will you be 18 years of age on or before election day?” and boxes for the applicant to check to indicate whether or not the applicant will be 18 years of age or older on election day.

 

 

Yes

This question will be added to all voter registration applications used in South Carolina.

(iii) The statement “If you checked ‘no’ in response to either of these questions, do not complete this form”.

 

 

Yes

This question will be added to all voter registration applications used in South Carolina.

(iv) A statement informing the individual that if the form is submitted by mail and the individual is registering for the first time, the appropriate information required under this section must be submitted with the mail-in registration form in order to avoid the additional identification requirements upon voting for the first time.

 

 

Yes

This question will be added to all voter registration applications used in South Carolina.

(B) INCOMPLETE FORMS – If an applicant for voter registration fails to answer the question included on the mail voter registration form pursuant to subparagraph (A)(i), the registrar shall notify the applicant of the failure and provide the applicant with an opportunity to complete the form in a timely manner to allow for the completion of the registration form prior to the next election for Federal office (subject to State law).

 

 

Yes

Standard procedure will be developed for all county offices to notify voters that their application was incomplete and give them a period of time to submit missing information.

(c) PERMITTED USE OF LAST 4 DIGITS OF SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS – The last 4 digits of a social security number described in subsections (a)(5)(A)(i)(II) and (b)(3)(B)(i)(II) shall not be considered to be a social security number for purposes of section 7 of the Privacy Act of 1974 (5U.S.C. 522a note).

 

 

 

 

(d) EFFECTIVE DATE –

 

 

 

 


2. Payment Distribution and Monitoring

How the State of South Carolina will distribute and monitor the distribution of the requirements payment to units of local government or other entities in the State for carrying out the activities described in “1. Meeting Title III Requirements and Other Activities,” including a description of the criteria to be used to determine the eligibility of such units or entities for receiving the payment; and the methods to be used by the State to monitor the performance of the units or entities to whom the payment is distributed, consistent with the performance goals and measures adopted under “8. Performance Goals and Measures.”

Eligibility of Local Units to Receive the Payment

The State Election Commission will centrally manage the initiatives funded through HAVA.  The SEC will be responsible for accounting for all expenditures, funding levels, program controls, and outcomes. 

The SEC will implement HAVA by providing equipment, supplies, services, and training programs and materials to the counties.  All counties in South Carolina will be beneficiaries of the improvements funded by HAVA:

¨       As part of the statewide uniform voting system, counties will receive one voting unit for every 200 registered voters.

¨       Education programs will be developed by the SEC for county election commissions and boards of registration.

¨       Training programs and materials will be developed by the SEC and distributed to county election commissions to conduct consistent Poll Manager training.

¨       Voter education programs and materials will be developed by the SEC and distributed to county election commissions and boards of registration.

Next year’s State Plan will reflect options for funding for local voter education projects.

Performance Measures for Local Units

Funds will be centrally managed.  The SEC will monitor the performance of each initiative that is funded by requirements payments in the following areas:

¨       Financial Controls: Working with the State Budget Office, State Treasurer, and State Comptroller General, SEC will develop and use standard financial reporting for all initiatives funded by HAVA.  SEC will be prepared for periodic federal audits.

¨       Compliance with Standards: SEC will develop and use standard program management reporting for all initiatives that are funded by HAVA.  The State Auditor’s Office will also conduct a statewide single audit to ensure that the SEC complies with all Federal laws, regulations and program compliance requirements.

¨       Program Results: SEC will develop key performance indicators for each initiative funded by HAVA.  See Component 8: Performance Goals and Measures for specific goals and measures.

 


3. Provision for Education and Training

How the State of South Carolina will provide for programs for voter education, election official education and training, and poll worker training which will assist the State in meeting the requirements of Title III.

3.1 Training for Election Officials

As mandated by South Carolina law, the SEC currently administers a statewide election official training and certification program.  This program provides professional development courses related to the voter registration and election community to all members and staff of the County Voter Registration Boards and Election Commissions.

To receive certification, a voter registration or election official or staff member must complete required components, including core components and electives, within 18 months.  Following initial certification, each official must take at least one training course each year to remain certified.

Two types of certification are offered:

¨       Voter Registration or Election Commission Members and Directors

This certification requires completion of three core courses (Duties of Voter Registration Board, Duties of Election Commission, Budgeting/Reimbursement of Election Expenses), two voter registration/election electives, and two additional electives.

¨       Voter Registration or Election Commission Staff

This certification requires completion of two core courses (Absentee Registration/Balloting, Office Procedures), two voter registration/election electives, and one additional elective.

Various components are offered each quarter throughout the year.  Components are held in Columbia, regionally and in conjunction with an annual conference for voter registration and election officials.

As part of the HAVA State Plan, County Election Commissioners and Board of Voter Registration members will be certified as Poll Managers within a specified length of time after their appointment. These Commissioners will be encouraged to monitor polling places all day on Election Day.

3.2 Training for Poll Managers

Note: since South Carolina law defines “Poll Workers” as “Poll Managers,” this section refers to Poll Managers, instead of Poll Workers.

As mandated by South Carolina law, training for Poll Managers is a county responsibility.  The SEC provides training material to the counties for use in their training program.

Planned enhancements to Poll Manager training as part of the implementation of common systems and procedures prescribed by HAVA are described below.

Every Poll Manager will be certified using state-standardized training and testing. This training and testing program will be developed by the SEC and various county election officials.  Recertification will be required every five years.  Persons with disabilities will be encouraged to become Poll Managers.  Each manager will be permitted to work one time prior to completing certification.

The HAVA State Plan Task Force had many creative suggestions for improved training, and their report will be revisited for more ideas.  In addition to the basics of operating the voting system and handling voters, the following topics will receive special focus in the state-standardized training and testing program:

¨       Operating the new voting system that will be selected for statewide use

¨       More intensive training on provisional ballots

¨       Voters who need special assistance (Illiteracy, Non-English speakers / readers)

¨       The rights of people with disabilities, the required accessibility of polling places to people with disabilities, and how to facilitate people with different disabilities

¨       Procedures to verify that the voter is in the correct precinct and to direct the voter to correct precinct, if needed

¨       Sensitivity and friendliness to voters

Testing will be “open book” to reflect the reality that poll managers are permitted to look up information at the polls.

Certification training will be conducted year round at different times of day and on different days of the week.  The state’s technical colleges and public television system may also be used to present training sessions.  Training materials developed by the state will include a demonstration video, presentation material, and a Poll Manager handbook.  Materials will be available through the SEC website.  Certified managers will receive both a certificate and a badge.

 

In accordance with South Carolina state law, all managers are required to attend refresher training/briefings within 30 days of an election.  These sessions will be held on different days and times to make them more accessible. 

3.3 Training for Voters

Expanded voter training will be part of the implementation of the HAVA State Plan.  The SEC will produce voter training material, and the counties will coordinate implementation of voter training.

When a statewide uniform electronic voting system is implemented, it will be important to get visibility and generate voter interest.  A brochure and a video will be developed to promote the voting system as simple to operate, to encourage the voter to participate on Election Day, and to provide instructions on updating voter registration information.  The brochure should be printed in sufficient quantities to use as handouts at voter registration offices, drivers license offices, and other government facilities. Also, the brochure and the video should be published on the website.

On an on-going basis, a concerted effort should be made to educate voters about referenda before they go into the voting booth.

Special effort will be made to reach voters with disabilities and let them know how much easier it will be to vote with the new system and improvements in the polling places.  It is critical that voter information, including publications and brochures, be made available through communication vehicles that are accessible and frequently used by people with disabilities, for example:

¨       A well-designed fully accessible website

¨       E-Mail to distribution lists provided by selected disability groups (statewide cross-disability organizations can help identify disability groups)

¨       Non-profit organizations and other non-governmental organizations

¨       State agencies that work with the disability community

South Carolina County Election Commissions may participate in mock elections and other programs in the schools.  Mock elections are a way to educate students and their families and to recruit and train high school students as Poll Managers.

County Election Commissions will be encouraged to demonstrate the voting system at public locations prior to an election.  These demonstrations are opportunities to register voters, update voter registration information, and recruit Poll Managers. 

3.4 Other Interested Citizens

Candidates, their workers, and poll watchers will be encouraged to take the certification training.  Candidates will receive a “Candidate’s Guide to Elections” and the Poll Manager handbook, both of which will be developed by the SEC.  This will provide them with more information on Election Day processes and prevent misunderstandings between Poll Managers and poll watchers.

 

 


4. Voting System Guidelines and Processes

How the State of South Carolina will adopt voting system guidelines and processes which are consistent with the requirements of section 301.

As outlined in Component 1: Meeting Title III Requirements and Other Activities, South Carolina has decided to implement a statewide uniform electronic voting system and processes.

The voting system will be chosen through an RFP process involving State and County Election Commission officials, consultants, and other State agency personnel as needed.  The RFP will be written to ensure that the system selected will meet South Carolina election laws and all requirements outlined in section 301 of HAVA.

The SEC will define and document uniform voting processes and update the relevant training material.  As required by law, before any changes are made to processes that affect the voters, the proposed process will be presented for review and approval by the Justice Department under the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

 


5. Fund for Administering State Activities

How the State of South Carolina will establish a fund for purposes of administering the State’s activities, including information on fund management.

Working with the legislature, the South Carolina Election Commission will establish a new program where the funds are kept separate from all other programs within the agency.  The program will contain both federal funds and general funds.  The federal fund portion will be used to maintain federal funds and the general fund portion will be used to maintain funds which are reserved under the 5% match required by HAVA.

The South Carolina Election Commission and the State Budget Office will work with the State Comptroller and the State Treasurer to follow and enforce all mandated fiscal controls and policies.  

 

 

 


6. Proposed State Budget

The State of South Carolina’s proposed budget for activities under this part, based on the State’s best estimates of the costs of such activities and the amount of funds to be made available, including (A) specific information on the costs of the activities required to be carried out to meet the requirements of Title III; (B) the portion of the requirements payment which will be used to carry out activities to meet such requirements; and (C) the portion of the requirements payment which will be used to carry out other activities.

The implementation of HAVA in South Carolina will be in four phases, each covering a calendar year, as follows:

Phase

Implementation

Phase I (2003)

¨        Voter registration / election administration upgrades

¨        Voter education and poll worker training

Phase II (2004)

¨        Voting system purchases (10 punch-card counties)

¨        Voter education and poll worker training

¨        Automate voter history at the polling place

Phase III (2005)

¨        Voting system purchases (12 optical-scan counties)

¨        Voter education and poll worker training

¨        Scanning/signature verification systems

Phase IV (2006)

¨        Voting system purchases (24 DRE counties)

¨        Voter education and poll worker training

 

The implementation of this four-phase plan is contingent upon receipt of the associated federal funding.

The total proposed funding[1] will come from the following sources:

 

Total Federal

Funding as Proposed

South Carolina

Share as Proposed

South Carolina

Matching Funds

Early payments

 $650 M

 $6.9 M

($5 M Guaranteed)

   Not applicable

2003

 $850 M

($825 M to States)

  $11.55 M

 $ 700,000  

2004

 $1.3 B

($1.1 B to States)

 $15.4 M

 $ 700,000

2005

 $1.1 B

($900 M to States)

 $12.6 M

 $ 700,000

Total Funding

 $3.9 B

 $46.45 M

$2.1 M

 

Total available funding for South Carolina is approximately $48,550,000.  This money will be used to carry out the requirements of Title III as follows:

HAVA Requirements

Total Cost

Section 101 Funds

Section 102 Funds

Section 252 & 257 Funds

State  Match

Standard Voting System in Punch-Card Counties  

$13.4 M

 

$3.45 M

$ 9.53 M

$ .43 M

Standard Voting System in Optical-Scan Counties

$ 4.8 M

 

 

$4.56 M

$ .24 M

Standard Voting System in DRE Counties

$18.4 M

 

 

$17.48 M

$ .92 M

Education

$ 4.0 M

$ .25 M

 

$  3.55 M

$ .2 M

Updating State Voter Registration System

$ 2.0 M

$ 2.0 M

 

 

 

Voter Registration and Outreach Programs

$ 4.0 M

$ .2 M

 

$  3.6 M

$ .2 M

State Plan Creation and Management

$  1.95 M

$ 1 M

 

$ .86 M

$ .09 M

Total

$ 48.55 M

$ 3.45 M

$ 3.45 M

$ 39.58 M

$ 2.08 M

 

7. Maintenance of Prior Year Expenditures

How the State of South Carolina, in using the requirements payment, will maintain the expenditures of the State for activities funded by the payment at a level that is not less than the level of such expenditures maintained by the State for the fiscal year ending prior to November 2000.

Consistent with HAVA §254(a)(7), in using any requirements payment, South Carolina will maintain expenditure of the State for activities funded by the payment at a level equal or greater than the level of such expenditures in State Fiscal Year 2000.

The SEC has taken several reductions to the base budget since 2000.  To absorb those reductions, operating expenses have been cut drastically by condensing office space, leaving vacant positions unfilled, and a reduction in force plan was implemented which eliminated one full time employee.

During the 2003 legislative session, the South Carolina General Assembly did not provide any funds for the 2004 Statewide Primaries.   However, all HAVA funds will be maintained completely separate and no HAVA funds will be used to offset either the general fund or primary election fund shortfalls. 

The State budget represents only a small portion of the statewide aggregate operating budget expenditures needed to sustain elections in a given fiscal year, since by South Carolina law the great majority of election administration resources are provided at the county level.

South Carolina's 46 local election office budgets typically support year-round core staff and operating expenses for continuous functions such as voter registration, information services, and IT support.  In addition, county registration boards and election commissions provide the significant increase in funding associated with each specific election – for Poll Managers, temporary office staff, ballot production, mass mailings, election-day support (including personnel, equipment, and supplies), etc.  In some cases, key election support resources provided at the county level may not even be included within election office budgets, but are provided through other county agencies and donations.

It is therefore important to note that the projected HAVA budget set forth in Chapter 6: Proposed State Budget is based on the critical budget assumption that the State will mandate that this foundation of county-funded election operations be maintained at existing levels.  Without this foundation in place, the short-term infusion of funds HAVA provides would not be sufficient to maintain new State election environment in the long term.


8. Performance Goals and Measures

How the State of South Carolina will adopt performance goals and measures that will be used by the State to determine its success and the success of units of local government in the State in carrying out the plan, including timetables for meeting each of the elements of the plan, descriptions of the criteria the State will use to measure performance and the process used to develop such criteria, and a description of which official is to be held responsible for ensuring that each performance goal is met.

The State Election Commission along with members of the South Carolina Association of Registration and Election Officials (SCARE) will establish performance goals and measure progress of achieving these goals.  A list of preliminary Plan goals is provided below.  An advisory team, including County Election Commissioners and the State Election Commission, will be appointed to oversee plan management and compliance with HAVA.  This advisory team will revisit the goals of the plan on an on-going basis and make any changes necessary. 

An important goal of the advisory team is to ensure a smooth transition for the local election commissions into a statewide uniform electronic voting system while complying with HAVA requirements and assuring accessibility for all voters in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  The advisory team will determine the goals, measurements, and related timeframes in accordance with requirements outlined in HAVA. 

The following is a list of plan elements, preliminary plan goals under consideration, the official in charge of ensuring the element is met, and the timeframe for meeting such element of the plan.

Plan Element

Preliminary Plan Goals Under Consideration

Official

HAVA Timeframe

Voting System (§301)

§          Uniform electronic system implemented statewide

§          Statewide voting system will accommodate as many disabled votes as possible

§          Voter can verify / change ballot before casting

§          Voter is informed or prevented from casting votes for multiple candidates for single office

§          Disabled voters have accessibility to polling place

§          Manual audit capability

§          Uniform definition of what constitutes a vote

To Be Determined by SEC

1/1/06

Provisional Voting (§302)

§          Voter can ascertain whether a provisional vote was counted and obtain an explanation if the vote was not counted

§          Additional voting instructions posted for provisional voting and for prohibitions on fraud

To Be Determined by SEC

1/1/04

Voter Registration (§303a &303b)

§          Procedures established to track receipt of identification at registration

§          Mail voter registration form revised to add mandated questions and procedures revised to notify voters of incomplete forms

§          Amend the voter registration application process to use driver’s license

§          Joint agreement with Dept. of Motor Vehicles to coordinate verification process

§          Voter documentation exemptions tracked for uniformed and overseas citizens, elderly and handicapped

§          Implement image scanning and retention of the voter registration application, including the voter signature

To Be Determined by SEC

(303a) 1/1/06

(303b) 1/1/04

Education (§254a3)

§          Poll Manager training developed

§          Poll Manager certification process implemented

§          Poll Manager pre-election refresher training implemented

§          Election officials included in Poll Manager training and certification

§          Voter awareness and education plan implemented

§          Disabled voter awareness and education plan implemented

Garry Baum, Training Coordinator, SEC

 

1/1/04

Budget/Funding

§          Legislated program established to isolate and manage federal and state funds

§          Procedures established to track budget and actual expenditures

Janet Reynolds, Finance Director, SEC

 

TBD

Complaint Procedures (§402)

§          Complaint process in place statewide

§          Timely complaint resolution

To Be Determined by SEC

1/1/04

Absentee Ballots for UOCAVA Voters (§704)

§          Modify procedure to allow UOCAVA absentee voters to receive absentee ballots in all regularly scheduled elections within a two-year period

To Be Determined by SEC

1/1/04

 

Performance measures

There are areas that the management team will measure to collect data and report on performance.  These include:

¨       Schedule:  Are goals being met, timelines followed, or at least progression towards meeting goal/timelines?

¨       Ability:  Are the right people hired to oversee the state management plan to make sure plan goals are met?  Are there enough financial resources to maintain those hired? 

¨       Effectiveness:  Is the project meeting all expectations in regards to customer satisfaction (County Election Commissions and voters)?

 

Other plan elements will be added as needed.  The SEC and SCARE will monitor collected data for reporting purposes.  This data will be distributed to local county election boards as well as to the SEC to monitor progress of ensuring all goals of HAVA are achieved.


9. Administrative Complaint Procedures

A description of the uniform, nondiscriminatory State-based administrative complaint procedures in effect under section 402.

South Carolina will implement an administrative complaint procedure that complies with HAVA.  A new regulation will formally establish the procedure which, in general, will follow the process described within this chapter of the State Plan.

Education materials will be provided at the polls on procedures for filing a complaint.

If a voter has a complaint on Election Day, the voter may call the County Election Commission (local, toll-free, or collect call) or visit the County Election Commission in person.  Complaints that cannot be resolved at the County Election Commission level may be forwarded to the State Election Commission on a special complaint form for a paper hearing.  South Carolina interprets the requirement for a complaint hearing to be satisfied by a paper hearing using this complaint form.

The complaint form will be designed and distributed by the State Election Commission.  The State Election Commission will establish a numbered form containing the following fields to be completed by the complainant:

¨       Complainant name

¨       Address

¨       Telephone number

¨       County of residence

¨       Precinct

¨       Polling location

¨       Description of complaint

¨       Signature

¨       Notary

 

This form will be distributed to all County Election Commissions for distribution to poll workers for voters who wish to file a complaint.  Counties may assist voters in completing the form if necessary.  When a county election official, or poll worker, issues a complaint form, the number on the form will be recorded on a complaint log which will be retained in the County Election Commission office.

The State Election Commission will have 90 days to investigate complaints and will then notify the complainant in writing of the results of that investigation.  The 90 day period begins the day the complaint is filed with the State Election Commission.

 


10. Use of Title I Payment

If the State of South Carolina received any payment under Title I, a description of how such payment will affect the activities proposed to be carried out under the plan, including the amount of funds available for such activities.

As shown in Component 6: Proposed State Budget, the HAVA Title I monies are an integral part of the overall funding for development and execution of the State Plan to improve administration of elections, and as such, will be used to comply with the requirements under Title III.  The South Carolina Title I payment of $6,900,000 (May, 2003) represents approximately 14% of the total HAVA initiative and 36% of the 2003 budget. 

The Title I monies will provide initial funding to start the process.  Activities to be initiated in 2003 include:

¨       Develop the State Plan

¨       Establish criteria for a statewide uniform electronic voting system

¨       Issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a statewide uniform electronic voting system

¨       Upgrade the voter registration system

¨       Modify supporting processes for voter registration

¨       Establish administrative complaint procedures

¨       Develop voter education and poll worker training

¨       Improve election administration

Any monies remaining from the Title I payment will be applied toward purchase of the new voting systems selected through the RFP process.   All monies will be maintained by the SEC and no funds will be distributed directly to the counties for reimbursement of previously purchased voting systems.

 


11. Ongoing Management of Plan

How the State of South Carolina will conduct ongoing management of the plan, except that the State may not make any material change in the administration of the law unless the change (A) is developed and published in the Federal Register in accordance with section 255 in the same manner as the State plan; (B) is subject to public notice and comment in accordance with section 256 in the same manner as the State plan; and (C) takes effect only after the expiration of the 30-day period which begins on the date the change is published in the Federal Register in accordance with subparagraph (A).

The Executive Director of the S.C. State Election Commission is responsible for coordination of the State’s responsibilities under this Act, and therefore ultimately responsible for the ongoing management of the State Plan.

The State Plan will serve as the roadmap for HAVA implementation.  As stated in Component 8: Performance Goals and Measures, the State Election Commission will establish a State Plan advisory team to manage and oversee the statewide plan.  This State Plan advisory team will audit performance goals and measures and publish any material changes.  The team will meet on a regular basis with a frequency to be set by the team. 

No material changes will be made unless the change is published in the Federal Register in accordance with HAVA §255, is subject to public notice in accordance with HAVA §256, and takes effect after the expiration of the 30 day period which begins on the date the change is published in the Federal Register in accordance with HAVA §255.

 


12. Previous Year Plan

In the case of a State with a State plan in effect under this subtitle during the previous fiscal year, a description of how the plan reflects changes from the State plan for the previous fiscal year and of how the State succeeded in carrying out the State plan for such previous fiscal year.

This is South Carolina’s 2003 State Plan, and is the State’s initial plan.  Therefore there are no changes from the previous year or successes to report relative to the implementation of HAVA. 

This section will be updated in the next fiscal year, reflecting changes to the State Plan, as well as a summary of the 2003 successes.

 

 


13. Committee

A description of the committee which participated in the development of the South Carolina State plan in accordance with section 255 and the procedures followed by the committee under such section and section 256.

The HAVA State Plan task force provided broad representation across the state, and included representatives from state organizations, county organizations, legislators, and interested stakeholders. 

Name

Organization

Adell Adams

Richland County Election Commission

David Alexander

Office of Research and Statistics

Marci Andino

State Election Commission

Susan Barden

S.C. State Senate Judiciary Committee

Russell Barrett

Florence County Election Commission

Garry Baum

State Election Commission

Conway Belangia

Greenville County Registration/Elections

James Blake

Marion County Voter Registration/Elections

Bobby Bowers

Office of Research and Statistics

Lesly Bowers

Protection and Advocacy for People with Disabilities

Marilyn Bowers

Pickens County Voter Registration/Elections

Tommie Brice

Calhoun County Voter Registration/Elections

Brett Bursey

S.C. Progressive Network

Hoyt Campbell

Darlington County Registration/Elections

Pete Cantrell

Protection and Advocacy for People with Disabilities

Mike Cinnamon

Richland County Election Commission

Eliza Claxton

NAACP

John Darby

Governor's Office

Rusty DePass

State Republican Party

Benjamin Duncan II

Governor's Office

Lelia Ferguson

Protection and Advocacy for People with Disabilities

Agnes Garvin

Beaufort County Voter Registration/Elections

Cheryl Goodwin

State Election Commission

Adlena Graham

NAACP

Wayne Hale

State Election Commission

John Harrison

S.C. House of Representatives

Betsy Hartman

Office of State CIO

Rita Henderson

Laurens County Voter Registration/Elections

Lynn Hill

Lee County Voter Registration/Elections

Pat Jefferson

Sumter County Voter Registration/Elections

Ruth Jordan

NAACP

L.Z. Keitt

NAACP

Carol Khare

State Democratic Party

Carolyn Lecque

Charleston County Election Commission

Hannah Majewski

State Election Commission

Larry Martin

S.C. State Senate

Mariah C. Miller

NAACP

Thomas L. Moore

S.C. State Senate

Cindy Peel

State Election Commission

Cathy Pelletier

Disability Action Center, Columbia

Edith Redden

Williamsburg County Voter Registration/Elections

Janet Reynolds

State Election Commission

James H. Ritchie

S.C. State Senate

Shan Rose

League of Women Voters

Drew Royall

Department of Disabilities and Special Needs

Donna Royson

State Election Commission

John Russell

Governor's Office

John Scott

S.C. House of Representatives

Gary Simrill

S.C. House of Representatives

Steve Skardon

Palmetto Project

Gilbert Smith

S.C. Independent Living Council

Tanya Thompson

Protection and Advocacy for People with Disabilities

David Williams

Legislative Council, Columbia

Ron Wilson

York County Voter Registration/Elections

 

The task force was divided into five teams, each of which focused in depth on a specific functional area of HAVA: Administration and Funding, Education, Voting System Standards, Statewide Voter Registration System, and Accountability.

On-going management of the State Plan will be handled by the SEC with help from a new advisory team to be appointed.



[1] Fund amounts are annotated with “M” or “B” to indicate million or billion dollar amounts.