LAURENS COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) — More people in South Carolina are now eligible to register to vote. Starting this month, people who are 17-years-old but will be 18-years-old by election day can register to vote.
“In South Carolina, the legal registration age is 18, but you have to be 18 on election day,” said Lynne West the Laurens County Director of Voter Registration & Elections.
If someone is turning 18 by the November election, they’ll be able to vote in the primaries this June, too. West said it can play a big role in the outcome.
“They [primaries] are a nomination process and each party conducts their own primaries and it’s a way for them to determine which candidates they want to put up in the general election,” said West.
She believes every vote is important.
“Actually I have had not one but two elections on the local level that have ended in a tie. One was a mayor race, one was a school board race, and just one more vote would have determined a winner,” said West.
West said registering to vote is easy. People can do it online, in person at the office, or while getting a license at the DMV. She said the earlier they register the better.
“The main reason is to avoid lines, and to make sure you are registered to vote on time,” said West.
West said students who aren’t old enough to vote, can still be involved and serve their community on election day.
“If you are ages 16 and 17, but you won’t be 18 before election day, you can still work at the polls. We have 16-year-old and 17-year-old student poll workers, you get paid, and we would love to have you. That way you can sort of learn the process in advance of registering to vote,” said West.
West also said soon staff will host voter registration drives at Laurens County Schools to make the process easier for students.
The deadline to register to vote is 30 days before election day. The June Primary election is June 14, 2022.