Vote Yes on party registration

Vote Yes on party registration
June 05 16:03 2020 Print This Article

On Tuesday, Republican Primary voters in South Carolina will vote on a ballot advisory issue on whether voters should register by political party. Currently, South Carolina does not list party affiliation on voter registration cards and all voters may choose whether they want to participate in the Democrat Primary or the Republican Primary. Lowcountry Source supports registration by party to protect the integrity of the primaries. Registration by party would also make it easier for both parties to identify new voters and those moving from others states based on their stated affiliation.

In 2010, Greenville County Republican Party did and analysis on the 2008 Presidential primaries in February, when both parties had hotly contested primaries. It determined that many voters who participated in the Democrat Presidential primary in February later voted in the state and local Republican primary in June. That prompted a lawsuit, which was ultimately dismissed in federal court in 2015, with the ruling citing that the county party lacked standing in the matter.

With registration by party, both major parties could set rules for eligibility to vote in their primaries. They could limit participation to those registered in their parties, which is known as a “closed” primary system. They could also choose to allowed registered independents or unaffiliated voters to participate in their primaries.

The results of the Republican ballot advisory are not binding on the General Assembly, but a strong vote in favor of registration by party would send a message to Republican legislators that their voters want it. Republican Primary voters may vote on a machine at their county election office Monday from 8:30 am to 5 pm or vote at their regular polling place Tuesday from 7 am to 7 pm.