South Carolina

What is an ‘inactive voter’ and does that mean you can’t cast a ballot?

Voters discuss what brought them to the polls Tuesday

Voting is among the core responsibilities for citizens of the United States, and you can exercise your right today by voting. Polls close at 7 p.m., but as long as you’re in line by then, you can vote.
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Voting is among the core responsibilities for citizens of the United States, and you can exercise your right today by voting. Polls close at 7 p.m., but as long as you’re in line by then, you can vote.

Even as thousands are casting ballots without issue across South Carolina, Google analytic shows a spike in people searching what “inactive voter” status means.

This means you once registered to vote, but are no longer able to cast a ballot in the election. This can happen due to a failure to report a new address, the voter died, convicted of a felony, or did not vote in the last eight years.

Even if you move a few feet down the road, you’re still required to update the information in advance.

If you’re told you’re an inactive voter, that does not necessarily mean you’re unable to vote.

In 2017, the Rock Hill Herald reported that the United States’ Department of Justice sent a letter to South Carolina asking how they deemed voters inactive. According to that report, the state keeps the record of all voters going back to 1968, even if that person is no longer active.

Which means, even if you are an inactive voter, you still may be able to vote. Inactive voters that can prove they are still at the same address, but just didn’t vote for the last eight years, can cast a provisional ballot. Then it will be up to election officials to decide if the vote stands.

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