South Carolina COVID-19 Election Relief

August 9, 2020

On behalf of individual voters, the South Carolina Democratic Party, the DNC and the DCCC, we challenged South Carolina’s vote by mail restrictions. The state requires a witness signature on absentee ballots, does not provide pre-paid postage, and has an Election Day cut-off of not counting ballots received after 7:00 PM on Election Day. South Carolina also makes it a felony for a candidate or paid campaign staff to assist voters with returning their voted absentee ballots to elections officials. These voting hurdles, especially during the unprecedented public health crisis caused by COVID-19, disenfranchises voters in South Carolina and particularly burdens African American voters. As part of the lawsuit, South Carolina agreed to provide prepaid postage to all absentee voters in November 2020, likely saving voters over $1 million on postage in November. The Fourth Circuit court voted, 9-5, to keep the district court’s order striking down the witness requirement in place, but the U.S. Supreme Court stayed the decision.