A new law signed by Governor Nikki Haley should make it easier for South Carolinians who are overseas to vote in elections back home.
The South Carolina Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voters Act (S. 404) requires that service members and citizens who are abroad receive their ballots earlier and faster, allowing them ample time to cast and return their ballots to be counted.
South Carolina’s military population ranks in the top third of the nation, making the law critical to ensuring deployed military are among those getting in their votes on time.
Whether it’s a federal, state or local election, the new law is meant to streamline the voting process and removes obstacles that military and overseas voters commonly encounter.
The law mandates that absentee ballots be sent at least 45 days before any election, provides electronic transmission of unmarked absentee ballots and accepts the federal write-in absentee ballot as a back-up for voters who don’t receive their official ballots in time.
It also takes away the requirement of a witness on ballots from the military and overseas voters.