A Message about Voting from Dr. Jeri Cabot, Interim Executive Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Today I want to take a few minutes to talk with you all about a very important issue. The College of Charleston is working to make sure that young people, especially college students, are heard in the upcoming elections. We want to make sure that you are registered and vote so that so that local, state, and national political candidates will pay
attention to college students and to the issues that matter most to you.
Even though there are 24 million people between 18 and 24 in this country, older people – especially those over 65 - vote at twice the rate that young people do. Campaigns just know older voters will turn out on Election Day. That is why the political ads and candidates are talking about prescription drugs and Medicare. That’s why they spend so much money making phone calls and sending pieces of mail to older people trying to get them to vote for this candidate or that candidate.
There are a lot of important things going on right now that affect your lives. Getting a good job, paying for college or deciding what happens with the environment. It’s not like you all have the same opinions just because you are under 30 or a college student, but you do need candidates and public officials to pay attention to these issues and to pay attention to you.
It all comes down to voting on each Election Day.
The College of Charleston is committed to getting students registered and out to vote. Of course, we want ALL of our students to register, but we are particularly concerned about the low participation rates of those under 30. Each of you now has a registration form. I’m asking you take just a couple of minutes to complete it now.
If you are a South Carolina resident, you can choose whether to vote here in Charleston or to vote at home with an absentee ballot. You are legally entitled to choose where you prefer to vote—here where you go to school or back in your hometown. If you live in the dorms, however, it is important that you use the official street address of the residence hall and NOT your CofC box number. Be sure to include your social security number (required by law) and you must sign the form. Since January 1, 2013 all voters will be required to show a photo ID when you go to vote. If the address on your ID differs from the one you used on the registration, be sure to take a piece of “official mail” with you showing your campus address.
Check that you are Registered and Request Absentee Ballot online
You can check to be sure you are registered and request an Absentee Ballot online at the SC State Election Commission website: www.scvotes.org
Not From South Carolina Or Want to Vote Absentee?
If you are not from South Carolina and want to register to vote or vote absentee in your home state, you can access a national online voter registration form and get information about absentee voting from links below.
- Rock the Vote - http://www.rockthevote.com/
- Smart Voter - www.smartvoter.org find your condidates
- Project Vote Smart - http://votesmart.org/
Voting in South Carolina
Since January 1, 2013, you will be asked to show one of the following Photo IDs at your polling place:
- S.C. Driver's License
- ID Card issued by S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles
- S.C. Voter Registration Card with Photo
- Federal Military ID
- U.S. Passport
There is no length of residency requirement in South Carolina in order to register to vote. You can register at any time. You must be registered at least 30 days prior to any election in order to vote in that election. Registration by mail applications must be postmarked at least 30 days prior to that particular election to be eligible.
- Download Voter Registration Application
Information on Voter Registration in South Carolina for College Students
- Students may register to vote where they reside while attending college.
- In order to vote, South Carolina law requires one must first register to vote at least 30 days prior to the election. To be eligible to register in South Carolina you MUST:
- be a United States citizen
- be at least eighteen years old on or before the next election
- be a resident of South Carolina, this county and precinct
- not be under a court order declaring you mentally incompetent
- not be confined in any public prison resulting from a conviction of a crime
- have never been convicted of a felony or offense against the election laws OR if previously convicted, have served the entire sentence, including probation or parole, or have received a pardon for the conviction.
- To insure your address is correct please check the Physical Addresses for College of Charleston Residence Halls and Historic Houses: (residences North of Calhoun use 29403, residences South of Calhoun use 29401).
The 1998 Higher Education Act requires all postsecondary institutions to make a good-faith effort to distribute voter registration forms to each degree-or certificate-seeking student who attends classes on campus.
Dr. Jeri Cabot
Interim Executive Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students