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As a survivor of domestic abuse, your thoughts and opinions may have been diminished or silenced in the past. However, casting your vote in an election or voicing your views about an issue that matters to you can be an important step toward empowerment and change. We hope this information can offer access for you to vote and share your voice.
Voting Resources for 2020 Elections:
These posts from our blog share more about the importance of survivors' voices being heard during elections and in local, state and national branches of government.
Check Your Registration Status: Because voter rolls get purged periodically, you need to check online to see if you are registered. The response is immediate and only requires your name, DOB, and county of registration. Go to www.scvotes.gov: under “Voters” click “Check Your Voter Registration.”
Register to Vote: If you are not registered, then you can Choose any 1 of the 3 options:
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ALL registered voters are eligible to vote early by an absentee ballot in the Nov 3rd General Election for a Reason of “State of Emergency.” You may Choose any 1 of the 3 voting options:
1.) Vote Absentee by Mail: This option is does not require picture id. Your ballot can be completed and returned in person to your county voter registration office or mailed from anywhere.
2.) Vote Absentee in Person Before Election Day (Dates and Times Vary by Location): This option requires an active registration and government issued picture ID (if you do not have one of the accepted photo IDs, then you can go to your county voter registration office prior to voting and request a photo VoterID card).
3. Vote in Person on Election Day (Tues. Nov 3rd): Polling places are open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Election Day. - Polling places sometimes change, so be sure to check the precinct location where you need to vote. Anyone in line at 7:00 p.m. will be allowed to vote. A government issued picture ID and active registration is required (if you do not have one of the accepted photo IDs, then you can go to your county voter registration office prior to election day and request a picture VoterID card). If you run into any snags at the polling place, you can request a provisional ballot. They should have them on site.
Many survivors of domestic violence may have hesitations about voting due to safety concerns related to the abuse and control they are experiencing. These links provide tips for survivors to have access to vote safely:
Community leaders and members of Congress receive many letters, emails and phone calls every year. They want to know what is important to their constituents. The following tips are provided to help you organize your thoughts and share your voice on issues that matter to you.
Tips for Calling a Congressional Office or Community Leader
Tips on Writing a Letter to a Member of Congress or Community Leader
Dear [Legislator/Community Leader Name],
My name is _________, and I am a constituent in your district/area. I would like to share my [thoughts/concerns] on [topic/issue you want to discuss]. This issue is important to me because [share a bit about your experience or your reason for interest on the topic/issue]. I feel that you could provide support in addressing this matter by [share how you would like the leader to assist…by supporting a legislative bill? Taking action to change a policy? Improve community systems?]. I would like to hear your thoughts on this topic and would appreciate the opportunity to [speak over the phone, talk with the leader in person, speak at a committee meeting, etc.]. Thank you for your time and consideration, and I look forward to hearing back from you.
[Your name & safe contact information]
You may also have interest in sharing your voice on specific topics or pieces of legislation that matter to you. Here are some quick links for you to contact your representatives, senators and council members: