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Bill Number: 2161 Ratification Number: 460 Act Number 422 Introducing Body: House Subject: Governor to appoint Board of Registration
(A422, R460, H2161)
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 7-5-10, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE APPOINTMENT BY THE GOVERNOR OF THE BOARD OF REGISTRATION IN EACH COUNTY, SO AS TO REQUIRE THE GOVERNOR TO NOTIFY THE STATE ELECTION COMMISSION IN WRITING OF THE APPOINTMENTS; SECTION 7-13-35, RELATING TO THE REQUIREMENT THAT THE ELECTION COMMISSION IN EACH COUNTY PUBLISH NOTICES OF ELECTIONS HELD IN THE COUNTY, SO AS TO CHANGE THE REFERENCE FROM ELECTION COMMISSION TO AUTHORITY CHARGED BY LAW WITH CONDUCTING AN ELECTION AND INCLUDE REFERENCES TO PRIMARY AND MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS, AND REQUIRE NOTIFICATION OF THE DATE, TIME, AND LOCATION OF THE HEARING ON CHALLENGED BALLOTS, LIST OF PRECINCTS INVOLVED IN THE ELECTION, AND THE LOCATION OF POLLING PLACES IN EACH OF THE PRECINCTS, AND DELETE LANGUAGE EXEMPTING THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION FROM EXTENDING TO ANY SPECIAL ELECTION HELD TO FILL A VACANCY CREATED BY DEATH, RESIGNATION, OR REMOVAL FROM OFFICE; SECTION 7-13-70, RELATING TO THE APPOINTMENT OF COMMISSIONERS OF ELECTION IN EACH COUNTY, SO AS TO REQUIRE THE GOVERNOR TO NOTIFY THE STATE ELECTION COMMISSION IN WRITING OF THE APPOINTMENTS, TO REQUIRE THE APPOINTMENT OF MANAGERS OF ELECTION ONLY FOR THE GENERAL ELECTION HELD ON THE FIRST TUESDAY FOLLOWING THE FIRST MONDAY IN NOVEMBER IN EACH EVEN-NUMBERED YEAR, AND TO ADD A PROVISION REQUIRING THE AUTHORITY CHARGED BY LAW WITH CONDUCTING THE PRIMARIES, SPECIAL, OR MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS, TO APPOINT THREE MANAGERS OF ELECTION FOR THE FIRST FIVE HUNDRED ELECTORS REGISTERED TO VOTE IN EACH PRECINCT; SECTION 7-13-90, RELATING TO THE MEETING OF THE COUNTY COMMITTEE, SO AS TO DELETE LANGUAGE APPOINTING A CLERK FOR EACH VOTING PLACE, AND MANAGERS FOR ANY POLLING PLACE IN WHICH FIVE HUNDRED OR MORE REGISTERED ELECTORS ARE ENTITLED TO VOTE; SECTION 7-15-110, RELATING TO PERSONS QUALIFIED TO VOTE BY ABSENTEE BALLOT, SO AS TO CHANGE A REFERENCE IN THE QUALIFICATION TO VOTE OF ALLOWING A CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES RESIDING OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES FROM THE FEDERAL OVERSEAS CITIZENS VOTING RIGHTS ACT OF 1975 (PUBLIC LAW 94-203) TO THE UNIFORMED AND OVERSEAS ABSENTEE VOTING ACT (PUBLIC LAW 9-410); AND SECTION 7-15-330, RELATING TO THE TIME OF SUBMITTING APPLICATIONS FOR ABSENTEE BALLOTS, SO AS TO AUTHORIZE THAT A REQUEST FOR AN APPLICATION TO VOTE BY ABSENTEE BALLOT MAY BE MADE ANY TIME DURING THE CALENDAR YEAR IN WHICH THE ELECTION IN WHICH THE QUALIFIED ELECTORS DESIRE TO VOTE BY ABSENTEE BALLOT IS BEING HELD RATHER THAN SIXTY DAYS PRIOR TO THE ELECTION IN WHICH THE QUALIFIED ELECTORS DESIRE TO VOTE BY ABSENTEE BALLOT.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
Governor to appoint board of registration
SECTION 1. Section 7-5-10 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 7-5-10. Between the first day of January and the fifteenth day of March in every even-numbered year the Governor shall appoint, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, not less than three nor more than five competent and discreet persons in each county, who are qualified electors of that county and who must be known as the board of registration of County. The Governor shall notify the State Election Commission in writing of the appointments. The members appointed are subject to removal by the Governor for incapacity, misconduct, or neglect of duty."
Notices to be published
SECTION 2. Section 7-13-35 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 7-13-35. The Authority charged by law with conducting an election shall publish two notices of general, special, and primary elections held in the county or municipality in a newspaper of general circulation in the county or municipality. Included in each notice must be a reminder of the last day persons may register to be eligible to vote in the election for which notice is given, notification of the date, time, and location of the hearing on ballots challenged in the election, a list of the precincts involved in the election, and the location of the polling places in each of the precincts. The first notice shall appear not later than sixty days prior to the election and the second notice shall appear not later than two weeks after the first notice."
Governor to appoint board of registration
SECTION 3. Section 7-13-70 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 7-13-70. For the purpose of carrying on general or special elections provided for in Section 7-13-10 the Governor shall, at least ninety days prior to any such election, appoint for each county not less than three nor more than five commissioners of election upon the recommendation of the Senator and at least half of the members of the House of Representatives from the respective counties. The Governor shall notify the State Election Commission in writing of the appointments. The commissioners shall continue in office until their successors are appointed and qualified. For the general election held on the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November in each even-numbered year, the commissioners of election shall appoint three managers of election for each polling place in the county for which they must respectively be appointed for each five hundred electors, or portion of each five hundred electors, registered to vote at the polling place and none of the officers may be removed from office except for incompetence or misconduct. For primaries, special, or municipal elections, the authority charged by law with conducting the primaries, special, or municipal elections shall appoint three managers of election for the first five hundred electors registered to vote in each precinct in the county, municipality, or other election district and one additional manager for each five hundred electors registered to vote in the precinct above the first five hundred electors. After their appointment the commissioners and managers shall take and subscribe, before any officer authorized to administer oaths, the following oath of office prescribed by Section 26 of Article III of the Constitution:
'I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I am duly qualified, according to the Constitution of this State, to exercise the duties of the office to which I have been appointed, and that I will, to the best of my ability, discharge the duties thereof, and preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of this State and of the United States. So help me God.'
and it must be immediately filed in the office of the clerk of court of common pleas of the county in which the commissioners and managers are appointed, or, if there is no clerk, in the office of the Secretary of State. Before opening the polls, the managers of election shall take and subscribe the oath provided for in Section 7-13-100. Upon the completion of the canvassing of votes, this oath must be filed with the commissioners of election along with the ballots from that election precinct."
County committee to meet
SECTION 4. Section 7-13-90 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 7-13-90. The county committee shall meet on or before the second Monday in May of each general election year and appoint the managers for the primaries. Managers must be appointed pursuant to Section 7-13-70."
SECTION 5. Section 7-15-110(9)(b) of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"(b) If he could have met all qualifications to vote in federal elections in South Carolina even though while residing outside the United States he does not have a place of abode or other address in South Carolina; even if his intent to return to South Carolina may be uncertain, as long as he has complied with all applicable South Carolina qualifications and requirements which are consistent with the Uniformed And Overseas Absentee Voting Act (Public Law 99-410)."
SECTION 6. Section 7-15-330 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 7-15-330. To vote by absentee ballot, any qualified elector or a member of his immediate family, must request an application to vote by absentee ballot in person, by telephone, or by mail from the county registration board for the county of the voter's residence. A person requesting an application for a qualified elector as the qualified elector's authorized representative must request an application to vote by absentee ballot in person or by mail only and must himself be a registered voter and must sign an oath to the effect that he fits the statutory definition of a representative. This signed oath must be kept on file with the board of registration until the end of the calendar year or until all contests concerning a particular election have been finally determined, whichever is later. A candidate or a member of a candidate's paid campaign staff, including volunteers reimbursed for time expended on campaign activity, is not allowed to request applications for absentee voting for any person designated in this section unless the person is a member of the immediate family. A request for an application to vote by absentee ballot may be made anytime during the calendar year in which the election in which the qualified elector desires to be permitted to vote by absentee ballot is being held. However, completed applications must be returned to the county registration board in person or by mail before 5:00 p.m. on the fourth day before the day of the election. Applications must be accepted by the county board of registration until 5:00 p.m. on the day immediately preceding the election for those who appear in person and are qualified to vote absentee pursuant to Section 7-15-320. The board of registration shall serially number each absentee ballot application form and keep a record book in which must be recorded the number of the form, the name, home address, and absentee mailing address of the person for whom the absentee ballot application form is requested; the name, address, voter registration number, and relationship of the person requesting the form, if other than the applicant; the date upon which the form is requested; and the date upon which the form is issued. This information must become a public record at 9:00 a.m. on the day immediately preceding the election. Any person who violates the provisions of this section is subject to the penalties provided in Section 7-25-170."
SECTION 7. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.