Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Democrats Sue Over SC’s SSN Requirement for Voter Registration

The South Carolina Democratic Party and Two National Democratic Campaign Organizations filed a Federal Lawsuit against the State Election Commission over a Longstanding State Law that Requires Prospective Voters to Submit their Full Social Security Number (SSN) in Order to Register.

The Groups argue the Requirement has an Unconstitutional Chilling effect on Potential Voters who are concerned about Sharing SSNs, which is only Mandated in Four States.

Most States only ask for the Last Four Digits of Voters’ SSN or other Identifying Information.

The Federal Lawsuit comes as Democrats are Working to Sign Up some of the estimated 950,000 Eligible South Carolina Residents who had Not Registered to Vote as of 2018. For Comparison, about 1.7 Million People in South Carolina Voted in the State’s 2018 Elections.

Attorney Chris Bryant of Seattle-based Perkins Coie filed the Lawsuit on behalf of the State Party. The other Plaintiffs are the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), the Official Campaign Arms of House and Senate Democrats.

The Lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court of South Carolina, argues the Requirement Violates First and Fourteenth Amendment Rights to Engage in the Political Process.

The Plaintiffs also contend the Requirement Contradicts the Civil Rights Act, which says People Cannot be Denied the Right to Vote for Not providing Information “if such error or omission is not material in determining whether such individual is qualified under State law to vote in such election.”

The Groups named State Election Commission Executive Director Marci Andino and Members of the Commission in their Official Capacities because they are Tasked with Enforcing the Social Security Number Requirement.

While the Lawsuit is playing out in Court, State Rep. JA Moore (D-15th District, North Charleston), said he Plans to file a Bill for the Upcoming Statehouse Session to Remove the SSN Requirement by Legislation. He plans to ask House Speaker Jay Lucas (R-654th District, Hartsville), to Support the effort.

“Intentionally or not, it’s caused voter suppression,” Moore said of the Requirement. “What we’re going to find out is how committed the General Assembly leadership is on actually allowing more people to register to vote and to vote.”

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker

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