News · Press Release

South Carolina Democratic Party, DCCC, DSCC Announce Victory Over Unconstitutional Voter Suppression Regulation

After lawsuit, South Carolina agrees to remove requirement that potential voters disclose full nine-digit social security number

Prior to this lawsuit, South Carolina was one of only 3 states to require voters to disclose a full nine-digit Social Security number

The South Carolina Democratic Party, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee announced that the state of South Carolina has agreed to drop its requirement that voters provide their full nine-digit Social Security number when registering to vote. The agreement comes after the SCDP, DCCC, DSCC filed a lawsuit to eliminate the requirement – arguing that it unconstitutionally suppresses registration and voter participation, particularly for voters of color.

The parties have submitted a proposed consent order to the court that will:

  • Instruct the county boards of election to accept paper voter registration applications that include only the last four digits of an applicant’s SSN and update their trainings accordingly, and
  • Within 30 days of the order, that the downloadable, paper registration form will be updated to reflect that applications containing only the last four digits of an applicant’s SSN will be accepted.

South Carolina’s unnecessary SSN requirement impacts individuals who want to vote but do not want to risk their privacy or identity theft. It also undermines organizations that work to register voters.

South Carolina is one of just three states with an SSN registration requirement, and both the federal and state government advise against providing SSNs unless completely necessary. Nearly one million South Carolinians are eligible to vote but have not registered.

“We appreciate the South Carolina Elections Commission and S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson working with DSCC, DCCC, and the S.C. Democratic Party to find common ground and a solution to this important issue,” said SCDP Chair Trav Roberts. “Eliminating the requirement to disclose a full SSN helps lift a serious barrier to voting. We thank the Elections Commission and General Wilson for recognizing that every South Carolinian has the right to participate in our democratic process.”

“This provision is wrong, unconstitutional, and a large part of why nearly one million eligible people in South Carolina remain unregistered to vote,” DCCC Chairwoman Cheri Bustos said. “The state is doing right by removing this unnecessary requirement. We have committed to use our resources to fight voter suppression tactics across the country. We will continue fighting laws that discourage people from making their voices heard.”

“With this victory, South Carolinians no longer have to choose between protecting their privacy and participating in our democracy,” said DSCC Chair Nevada Senator Catherine Cortez Masto. “This settlement underscores how important it is for us to continue fighting unconstitutional policies that make it harder for voters to register and cast their ballots – and we will continue to the work to protect the integrity of our elections.”

Click here to read the proposed order of dismissal.

Click here to read the plaintiffs’ unopposed motion and memorandum in support of their unopposed motion to voluntarily dismiss.

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